New lawsuit filed today agains tthe Diocese of Belleville and Father Raymond Kownacki

New Lawsuit Claims Known Predator Priest  Living in St. Louis Community

Father Raymond Kownacki, subject of numerous  Lawsuits, remains ordained priest

(Belleville, Illinois)  St. Paul, Minnesota-based child abuse attorney Jeff Anderson filed a new lawsuit today against the Diocese of Belleville and Father Raymond Kownacki on behalf of a St. Louis area man who was sexually abused by Kownacki as a child.

Kownacki, who worked for decades within the Diocese of Belleville, is a well-known sexually abusive priest with numerous child victims and has been the subject of a number of high-profile lawsuits.  This new lawsuit describes sexual abuse of a 16 year-old boy (described in the complaint as John Doe S. W.) at St. Mary’s parish in Valmeyer, Illinois from 1985 – 1987.

The lawsuit also describes the long history of sexual abuse by Father Kownacki that was known to the Diocese of Belleville before Father Kownacki was assigned to St. Mary’s in Valmeyer.  Anderson pointed out that even with this long history, “Our investigation found that Kownacki is still an ordained priest living in the St. Louis community with the potential to use his position and power as a priest to influence past victims as well as prospective victims.”

Anderson, who has represented survivors of clergy sexual abuse throughout the United States for 27 years, went on to say that “The circumstances surrounding Father. Kownacki are both sad and scary.   Incredibly, the fact that Father Kownacki’s was a known serial predator for decades was concealed by the Diocese of Belleville–and this concealment not only allowed Father Kownacki to abuse John Doe S.W., but to continue to molest other children as well.”

Specifically, the complaint describes Father Kownacki’s history of sexually abusing children as beginning in Guatemala and continuing in the Illinois communities of St. Francisville, Salem and Harrisburg.  In 1985, Father Kownacki was transferred by the Diocese of Belleville to St. Mary’s parish in Valmeyer where he began sexually abusing John Doe SW.

The Complaint seeks damages from both Kownacki and the Diocese of Belleville for the sexual abuse and the Diocese’s negligent handling of Kownacki.  In addition, the plaintiff seeks damages for fraud based upon the false representations made by the Diocese about Kownacki safety and fitness to be around children.

Note:  A copy of the official complaint is available at