Diocese of Belleville / Abuse Suit
4:40 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Lawyer: Diocese of Belleville to pay $6.33 million in abuse suit

An attorney for a man sexually abused by a southwestern Illinois priest says his client soon will receive $6.3 million related to a lawsuit the man won against the Diocese of Belleville.

Mike Weilmuenster tells the Belleville News-Democrat that a court hearing Wednesday in St. Clair County could involve the payout to James Wisniewski of Champaign.

That would end a nearly decade-old legal fight. The diocese resisted paying a $5 million jury award Wisniewski won in 2008. The additional $1.33 million includes interest since the verdict.

Wisniewski alleged the Rev. Raymond Kownacki sexually abused him dozens of times in the 1970s at St. Theresa's Parish in Salem, beginning when he was 13.

A diocese spokesman says he can't immediately confirm any agreement to pay Wisniewski.