April 04, 2006

Priest sued for alleged sexual assault of Kansas City man

Belleville News-Democrat

Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A former church groundskeeper who claims he was sexually assaulted both as a child and as an adult has sued the Catholic priest he says was his abuser.

The lawsuit filed by the 25-year-old Kansas City man, identified only as John Doe GS, is against the Rev. Stephen Muth, who the plaintiff claims he was molested by as a 12-year-old boy, and again a decade later, when the priest was his boss. It was filed Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court and announced in a news conference Tuesday.

Muth is a Byzantine Catholic priest, part of one of numerous Eastern Rite churches that answer to Rome but maintain separate traditions. He is pastor of St. Luke Parish, a Byzantine Rite church in Sugar Creek that is part of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma, Ohio, which covers a dozen Midwestern states, and administrator of St. Cyril Parish, a Roman Catholic church in Sugar Creek that is part of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Loretta Nemeth, a spokeswoman for the eparchy, said no allegation involving Muth had been reported to church officials there. Rebecca Summers, a diocesan spokeswoman, said a complaint against Muth had been investigated in the past and was not substantiated, though she said she had not received the lawsuit and was unsure if the allegations were the same as the prior ones.

Posted by kshaw at April 4, 2006 08:57 PM