Joliet Diocese to pay $1.4M to 3 men in priest sex abuse lawsuit

A Chicago-area Catholic diocese has agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle a lawsuit filed by three men who alleged they were sexually molested by their priest when they were boys.

The three unidentified men alleged they were repeatedly harmed by Father Leonard Mateo of the Joliet Diocese between 1980 and 1982, before age 11.

After initial complaints were raised by parents, Mateo suddenly was transferred to a parish in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, eventually landing in the Philippines where, the lawsuit says, church records show he died in 2004.

The three first raised their allegations against the priest in 2014.

“This is a priest who was continuously moved from one parish to the next upon allegations of sexual misconduct, normalizing his sexual abuse of children and dispelling any notion it was wrong,” plaintiff’s attorney Antonio M. Romanucci said.
continue at USAToday

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