February 02, 2006

Suits citing clergy abuse withdrawn

Journal Star

By MICHAEL MILLER and andy kravetz
of the Journal Star

PEORIA - Four lawsuits alleging clergy sexual abuse against several Roman Catholic priests and the Catholic Diocese of Peoria have been withdrawn but could be refiled within a year.

The lawsuits were filed Nov. 30 in Peoria County Circuit Court against the priests, their churches at the time of the alleged abuse, religious orders and the diocese.

Fred Nessler of Springfield, attorney for the plaintiffs, said voluntary dismissal of the suits was taken last week in light of a recent 3rd District Appellate Court ruling. He is seeking to get five other lawsuits alleging clergy sexual abuse dismissed as well with a one-year window to refile, but a judge hadn't signed off on those cases as of Wednesday.

Nessler said another effort at negotiating a settlement with the diocese would be made. If that doesn't work, the suits "will be refiled."

Posted by kshaw at February 2, 2006 04:18 PM