Belleville Diocese Must Pay, Illinois Supreme Court Says

Share on Nextdoor
click to enlarge The diocese is on the hook for another $6.35 million after the Illinois Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal.
The diocese is on the hook for another $6.35 million after the Illinois Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal.
The Illinois Supreme Court yesterday refused to hear an appeal of the Diocese of Belleville -- letting stand a $5 million jury verdict for a former altar boy at St. Theresa's Parish in Salem.

That means -- barring intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court, which would be highly unusual -- the diocese is on the hook for the $5 million jury verdict, plus more than $1 million in interest that's accumulated during the appeal process.

The suit was filed by James Wisniewski of Champaign, Illinois, who said the abuse began when he was just thirteen years old. The priest he accused, Raymond Kownacki, has since been suspended.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the diocese settled another lawsuit focused on Kownacki for $1.2 million. Two other lawsuits regarding the priest are still pending.

About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in eight cities. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
Scroll to read more St. Louis Metro News articles (1)

Newsletters

Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.