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Belleville Diocese Fined for Not Turning Over Documents

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Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory (photo from Belleville Diocese)

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The priest sex abuse victims' group SNAP on Sunday called on Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory to stop what SNAP calls "hardball tactics against sex abuse victims."

The call came after the Post-Dispatch and New York Times reported that a judge had found Gregory's Belleville diocese in contempt of court.

The judge fined the diocese for not turning over documents in the case of Reverend Raymond Kownacki. A former alter boy accuses Kownacki in a lawsuit of abusing him for five years in the 70s.

Lawyers want records released to show the church knew the priest was a danger to children.

But the diocese is appealing the contempt ruling. It says medical records should stay off-limits because they date back to a time when such records were protected by law. It has asked the Fifth Appellate Court in Mount Vernon, Ill. to overturn the ruling.

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