Diocese of Belleville
3:41 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Attorney: Diocese of Belleville settles 3 more clergy abuse cases

An attorney whose client got a $6.3 million payout in a case against a southwestern Illinois diocese says that diocese has settled three more lawsuits involving sexual abuse of minors by priests.

Mike Weilmuenster says two of the cases settled last week by the Diocese of Belleville involve allegations against the Rev. Raymond Kownacki.

Weilmuenster represented James Wisniewski in another lawsuit involving Kownacki. Wisniewski alleged Kownacki molested him in the 1970s while he as an altar boy. Wisniewski got more than $6 million.

Kownacki was removed from priestly duties in 1995 and hasn't been charged criminally.

Weilmuenster says the settlement details are confidential but involve "a substantial sum."

A message was left Wednesday seeking comment from a spokesman for the diocese, Father John Myler.