Yet Another Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Former "Father Nick"

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In February 2007, Rev. Nicholas Katinas -- described by The Dallas Morning News as "the longtime, beloved pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in North Dallas" -- was suspended from the church because of allegations he'd sexually abused minors. At 1:30 today, one of those allegations will become yet another lawsuit -- only this one's not in Dallas, but in Illinois, where Katinas had been a pastor until his move here in 1978. The suit comes 13 days before a trial is scheduled to begin in Dallas involving two other sexual abuse allegations brought against Katinas in Dallas federal court last year.

The suit -- one of many brought against "Father Nick" in recent years -- was filed by three attorneys, including Dallas-based Tahira Khan Merritt, who's representing five plaintiffs in U.S. District Court in Dallas. Also filing the suit is the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests on behalf of an alleged abuse victim identified only as a man "now in his 40s and living in the Midwest." The suit alleges that the abuse happened in the late 1970s, when he was a "a then teenaged altar boy [who] was repeatedly sexually assaulted by Rev. Nicholas E. Katinas at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Olympia Fields, IL."

The lawsuit also alleges that the church's parish council president "had personally observed at least four suspicious incidents suggestive of pedophilia involving Katinas." The release says Katinas is out of the country; last year, The News noted he'd gone to Greece to visit family.

In those Dallas cases, late last week Merritt filed on behalf of two of her clients -- identified only as John Doe I and John Doe II -- lengthy responses to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America's request for summary judgment. The archdiocese alleges that the cases were brought past the statute of limitations. --Robert Wilonsky

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