St. Louis suit alleges mishandled clergy abuse allegations

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 | 2:43 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — A lawsuit filed in St. Louis accuses a Roman Catholic priest of sexually abusing a young parishioner in the early 1980s.

The unnamed plaintiff filed suit Wednesday against the Rev. Michael Freymuth, the Archdiocese of St. Louis and its new Archbishop Robert Carlson, who arrived in St. Louis this June.

The lawsuit says in 2005 the victim informed the archdiocese about Freymuth's alleged sexual misconduct, and was told Freymuth would be removed from active ministry. The suit says that was false.

The archdiocese has said a panel of lay people determined the 2005 allegation did not constitute sexual abuse. When it learned of a potential lawsuit alleging abuse in January, St. Louis church officials removed Freymuth from active ministry.

Director of Priest Personnel Monsignor Richard Hanneke said Freymuth is staying at a private residence.


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