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Streamwood man sues church, claiming priest abuse
By Eric Peterson | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/11/2008 12:06 AM

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A Streamwood man who has accused a Greek Orthodox pastor of abusing him 30 years ago was prompted to file suit after learning only last year that the same priest is accused of abusing others, his lawyer said Wednesday.

The unnamed 46-year-old man filed suit against a Greek Orthodox church in Olympia Fields and its former pastor over sexual abuse he says he suffered as a teenager.

The suit, filed in Cook County, names as defendants Rev. Nicholas E. Katinas, Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Olympia Fields, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The plaintiff is named only as John Doe 124.

His attorney, Marc Pearlman, said Katinas, who's accused of personally abusing his client, is now 73 years old and is believed to have fled to Greece after being defrocked by the church in January.

Officials from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago declined comment, saying they hadn't seen the suit.

"We have not been served," said Vice Chairman George Vourvoulias. "I have not seen the complaint. We know very little about the substance of the complaint."

Calls to the Olympia Fields church and the national archdiocese were not returned Wednesday.

The suit alleges Katinas began abusing the then-15-year-old plaintiff in March or April 1977 and that the abuse continued until Katinas was transferred to a Dallas church in September 1978.

The suit further asserts that Katinas molested other male youths before and after these incidents, and that other church officials were aware of the abuse. Pearlman said this belief is based on sworn testimony given by witnesses in another pending case in Dallas.

The suit states that the plaintiff himself only became aware of other allegations of abuse against alleged victims of Katinas in 2007, causing him to begin perceiving the wrongfulness of Katinas' past conduct toward him.

No criminal charges have ever been filed against Katinas, and the pending civil case in Dallas has not yet gone to trial, Pearlman said.

The Cook County suit seeks an unspecified amount in monetary damages, stemming from the alleged abuse by Katinas and negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud alleged in the suit against the other defendants.