February 09, 2006

Priest accused of abuse at Mokena church

ILLINOIS
The Star

By Ted Slowik,
Special to The Star

After a Gulf War veteran went public with a sexual abuse allegation Tuesday, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet placed the rector of the Cathedral of St. Raymond on administrative leave.

Dan Shanahan says the priest the Rev. James Burnett molested him about 40 times at St. Mary Church in Mokena, starting in 1978 when he was 8 years old.

Some of the abuse happened in a confessional at the church, the Marine Corps veteran said.

"He told me that this was a secret between me, you and God," Shanahan said during a press conference at an attorney's Chicago office.

Burnett denies the allegation.

Shanahan, 34, who now works in real estate in Phoenix, said he told his sister in December and first contacted the diocese shortly before Christmas.

Posted by kshaw at February 9, 2006 06:59 AM