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3rd Sex-Abuse Lawsuit Is Filed Against Priest

Dec 31, 2002 | Seattle Times

Another man has filed a lawsuit against the Rev. John Cornelius and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, alleging the priest abused him years ago.

This brings to at least three the number of lawsuits filed against Cornelius, who resigned from the ministry in May after at least a dozen men complained to the archdiocese that the priest molested them as minors decades ago.

The latest suit was filed in King County Superior Court on Dec. 20 on behalf of a 40-year-old man identified only by the initials "R.K.L." It seeks unspecified damages.

According to the suit, R.K.L. met Cornelius while attending John F. Kennedy Memorial High School in Burien, a Catholic school. The suit accuses Cornelius of "grooming" and sexually molesting R.K.L., then 15 or 16, in the St. Mary Church rectory in Seattle.

The suit also accuses the archdiocese of negligence in screening, hiring and supervising Cornelius, and of covering up clergy sexual abuse of minors.

Most recently, Cornelius had served at Immaculate Conception Church in Everett.

R.K.L.'s attorneys, Glenn Kadish and Patrick Moriarty of Everett, declined to comment.

Cornelius' attorney, Anne Bremner, also could not be reached.

An archdiocese spokeswoman said it would be inappropriate to comment on pending litigation.

The Seattle Archdiocese is facing at least 15 lawsuits representing about 30 plaintiffs alleging clergy sexual abuse of minors.

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