Belleville Diocese Sued For Priest Abuse

Associated Press
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(Photo Credit: JOE KLAMAR / AFP / Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: JOE KLAMAR / AFP / Getty Images)

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A Breese man has sued the Belleville Catholic diocese alleging a priest sexually abused him when he was a boy attending church camp.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports the man, referred to as J. Christ in court documents to provide anonymity, alleges former priest Robert J. Vonnahmen abused him at Camp Ondessonk in Ozark during the summers of 1970 and 1971.

Vonnahmen was one of 14 priests and a deacon the Belleville Diocese removed in the 1990s for the alleged sexual abuse of children.

The lawsuit alleges the diocese failed to protect J. Christ and remove Vonnahmen from the camp and church when it should have known he was a danger to young boys.

Similar lawsuits against the Belleville diocese have been successful.

A diocese representative was unavailable for comment.

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