April 05, 2005

Peoria diocese settles abuse suit


Associated Press

PEORIA -- The Catholic Diocese of Peoria has settled a lawsuit filed by a 37-year-old man who had sought $1 million in damages, alleging he was sexually abused two decades ago by three former priests.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. A spokeswoman for the diocese and attorneys for both sides declined to elaborate on the agreement with Daniel Koenigs, who said he was abused while he was an altar boy from 1980 to 1984 in three Peoria parishes. "The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties," said Joseph Klest, Koenigs' attorney.

Koenigs accused former priests Francis Engels, Gregory Plunkett and the late William Harbert with abuse in the civil suit, which was dismissed last month because of the settlement.

The suit also alleged diocese officials allowed the priests to continue in public ministry after other incidents of alleged abuse took place. Koenigs contended former Bishop Edward O'Rourke discovered in the 1970s that Engels and Harbert had been accused of sexual abuse by another family.

Posted by kshaw at April 5, 2005 08:37 AM