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Lawsuit filed against St. Louis priest

Archdiocese of St. Louis offices in the Central West End (UPI file photo)

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – A priest suspended by the Archdiocese of St. Louis now faces a lawsuit for alleged sex abuse of a minor.

Father James Pavlik was removed from a church in Japan, Mo. in 2000. On Tuesday, a man from Texas filed a civil lawsuit (using the name 'John Doe') against the priest and the Archdiocese for alleged abuse in the early 1970s.

David Clohessy, director of victim advocacy group SNAP, says Pavlik is in a Jefferson County facility where he remains a threat to children.

"Father Pavlik's own relatives have said he drives himself, he leaves when he want to, he comes back when he wants to, he's unaccompanied and therein lies the danger," Clohessy said Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese says Pavlik is in a supervised residential setting but could not confirm where.

Tony Huenneke says the Archdiocese encourages anyone who was abused by Pavlik or any other priest to come forward.

"If anyone believes he or she has been sexually abused by Father Pavlik or any priest of the Archdiocese we certainly encourage them to contact the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection [314-633-2252] or to contact the civil authorities," Huenneke said.


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