September 9, 2008
Sun-Times News Group
A Greek Orthodox priest engaged in the repeated sexual abuse of boys at an Olympia Fields church in the 1970s and church officials, while removing him from the church, did not report his crimes to law enforcement, according to a lawsuit to be filed this afternoon.
The lawsuit, to be filed by attorney Marc Pearlman and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, alleges in the late 1970s, a then-teenage altar boy at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church was repeatedly sexually assaulted by the Rev. Nicholas E. Katinas.
Katinas was pastor at Assumption from 1969-78, when his superiors transferred him to a Dallas church where he worked for 28 years, according to a release from the victim's attorneys.
Katinas faces at least four civil lawsuits from alleged abuse victims in Texas from the 1980s, the attorneys said.
The Cook County lawsuit alleges Katinas molested other boys at Assumption before and after the plaintiff. By 1974, the suit alleges, the Assumption parish council president "had personally observed at least four suspicious incidents suggestive of pedophilia involving Katinas," the suit says.
He and other church members pressured top church officials to remove Katinas, but no one reported his crimes to law enforcement, the attorneys said.
The victim is suing under "fraudulent concealment" -- a theory used last month in a Catholic priest abuse case in southern Illinois. A jury awarded that victim $5 million.
In addition to Katinas, the defendants include the Assumption parish; the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver, a regional church body; and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, a national church body.
Katinas, now 73, is believed to have left the country, the attorneys said. He was defrocked in January. The victim is now in his 40s and living in the Midwest.
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