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Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Joliet Diocese

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A class-action lawsuit filed today against the Diocese of Joliet is asking church officials to release the names of priests accused of abusing children.

In addition to the list of accused priests, the lawsuit wants the diocese to turn over files about child sex abuse to the court system.

The lead plaintiff in the case is George Knotek. During an emotional press conference, the 55-year-old explained how he feels betrayed by what happened to him back when he was just 16 years old.

“The night that I was victimized, I went to see my priest to talk to him about my vocation to because a priest,” he says. “And that sent me into a nightmare that has, alas, lasted for years.”

The priest Knotek says abused him died in 2004.

The class-action lawsuit seeks no monetary damages. Instead, lawyers for the plaintiffs say they hope the suit will force the Diocese of Joliet into transparency and responsibility.

Last month, a group of alleged victims filed a similar suit against the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Meanwhile, in a statement e-mailed to reporters late today, the Diocese of Joliet says there are no priests currently in ministry in the diocese who have credible allegations of sex abuse against them.

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