Streamwood man’s lawsuit alleges abuse by Greek Orthodox priest

Author: Azam Ahmed
Date Published: 09/09/2008

A 46-year-old Streamwood man alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that he was sexually abused more than 30 years ago by a south suburban Greek Orthodox priest and that the church covered up the allegations.

The lawsuit filed in Cook County court alleges that a man, identified only as John Doe 124, was abused when he was a 15-year-old altar boy by Rev. Nicholas Katinas, who at the time was the priest at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Olympia Fields.

The lawsuit contends that for a period of months from 1977 and into 1978, the plaintiff was abused by Katinas on a regular basis. The plaintiff’s attorneys, Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman, said that after the alleged victim reported the abuse, the church had the priest transferred in 1978 to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas because of the allegations.

Katinas is already facing another civil suit alleging sexual abuse filed against him in Texas. No criminal charges related to abuse have been filed against him.

”They have done what we have so long complained about the Catholic Church doing,” Anderson said of the defendants. ”Hide, shuffle and cover for [the abusers].”

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America could not immediately be reached for comment.

The plaintiff’s attorneys are accusing church officials of fraudulent concealment of allegations of abuse from more than 30 years ago, saying they knowingly protected Katinas. The attorneys hope this approach means the lawsuit could not be thrown out because the statute of limitations on the alleged abuse had run out.

The suit names Katinas, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Assumption Greek Orthodox Church as defendants.

aahmed@tribune.com