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Lansing Diocese Named In Sex Abuse Suit

May 5, 2004 | AP A prison inmate is suing the archdioceses of Detroit and Santa Fe, the Diocese of Lansing and several Roman Catholic leaders, claiming they condoned sexual abuse by an ex-priest who the man says molested him decades ago.

The lawsuit announced Tuesday by attorneys for Patrick Antos, 43, also names the former priest, Jason Sig-ler, as a defendant.

Diocese of Lansing spokesman Michael Diebold said he hadn't seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

Sigler left the Diocese of Lansing in 1970 to seek treatment at a special center for priests in New Mexico. After his release, he worked in New Mexico parishes and later acknowledged sexually abusing at least 17 boys there in the 1970s and '80s.

Sigler pleaded guilty to a 1983 sex charge and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe paid at least $13 million to settle more than 20 sex abuse lawsuits against him.

Antos, a native of Flushing in Genesee County, is serving a seven- to 25-year prison sentence in Utah, where he committed an armed robbery to support a drug habit. His father, John Antos, and his lawyer attributed his behavior to distress stemming from sexual abuse by Sigler.

The lawsuit says Sigler molested Patrick Antos from fall 1974 until mid-1975 while a priest at St. Robert Bellar-mine Parish in Flushing, committing regular abuse until the teen quit as an altar boy.

Sigler was sentenced Aug. 4, 2003 to seven to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct for molesting Anthony Otero, 41, who served as an altar boy at the same time as Antos.

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