Priest Sexually Assaults Woman, Tells Detectives He Can't Talk About It Because It Happened at Confession
PHILADELPHIA (CN) - A priest sexually assaulted a woman he asked to see him for "counseling," then "smeared her menstrual blood on her face," and when the church found out it sent him to Poland, the woman claims in court.
Jane Doe and her husband sued the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa and Father Marek Lacki, in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.
The Does claim that while they were volunteering at a church retreat, "defendant Lacki met with plaintiffs at Our Lady of Czestochowa to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Defendant Lacki encouraged plaintiffs to drink alcohol with him and to discuss any marital difficulties they were having. He was very charming and encouraged them to be open with him.
"Plaintiffs trusted defendant Lacki to act in their best interests and shared their marital challenges with defendant Lacki, who was particularly interested in learning about their sex life.
"Plaintiff Jane Doe was a victim of child sex abuse and told Lacki about the abuse she suffered. He also encouraged her to talk about her feelings of depression and difficulties dealing with sex after having given birth to 9 children, and several miscarriages.
"Following the retreat, Lacki insisted that plaintiff Jane Doe come to Our Lady of Czestochowa to visit him for 'counseling.' Plaintiff Jane Doe traveled to Our Lady of Czestochowa to obtain counseling, because she was seeking a spiritual counselor to aid her in her ongoing recovery from the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. He insisted that she come to a private room to pray and talk.
"On March 26, 2012, at Our Lady of Czestochowa, in a private room, defendant Lacki sexually abused and assaulted the plaintiff without her consent and against her will. He did so by grooming her, and then using physical, intellectual, moral, emotional and psychological force. Defendant invited plaintiff to meet with him individually and insisted plaintiff come to a private room alone, where Lacki isolated the plaintiff and began forced unsolicited sexual assault and abuse against plaintiff. Despite repeated attempts by plaintiff to ward off the assaults, it progressed to Lacki's forcible digital rape of plaintiff after which he smeared her menstrual blood on her face."
The Does claim they reported the assault to the Archdiocese, which notified the Bucks County District Attorney's Office.
"However, when asked by detectives to be interviewed regarding the rape, defendant Lacki responded that it was under the seal of confession and, therefore, he declined to speak to the police. The Bucks County District Attorney's Office accepted this answer and did not pursue the case," the complaint states.
It continues: "Furthermore, immediately following the District Attorney's failure to act, which provided an opportunity for Lacki to leave the jurisdiction, Lacki was removed from Our Lady of Czestochowa, and based upon information and belief, returned by the Pauline Fathers to Poland to further avoid both criminal and civil actions against Lacki and the other defendants."
The Does claim that "the Archdiocese, Our Lady of Czestochowa and the Pauline Fathers each concealed the knowledge that Lacki had deviate sexual interests, and each has a long history of concealing sexual abuse by its clergy.
"Upon information and belief, neither Our Lady of Czestochowa, nor the Archdiocese, nor the Pauline Fathers, forbade or limited the amount of time that un-chaperoned women could spend with priests in private rooms."
They seek punitive damages for sexual assault, vicarious liability and negligence.
They are represented by Daniel Monahan of Malvern, Pa