BELLEVILLE, Ill. — A nine-year legal fight by a man sexually abused by a priest in the 1970s is over, now that a southern Illinois diocese and its insurer have handed over $6.3 million to resolve a jury award in the man's favor.
Attorneys for the Diocese of Belleville turned over the checks during a hearing Wednesday in St. Clair County – three years after James Wisniewski (wihz-NOO'-skee) of Champaign won the $5 million jury award.
The additional $1.33 million includes interest accrued since that verdict.
Wisniewski sued in 2002, alleging that a former priest sexually abused him dozens of times for five years at St. Theresa's Parish in Salem. The lawsuit also claimed the diocese hid the one-time priest's suspected behavior and quietly shuffled him among parishes.
The diocese's attorneys declined comment.