A jury in Minnesota has awarded $8.1 million to a victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest. The priest previously worked in Peoria.
The unnamed victim claims Father James Vincent Fitzgerald molested him in 1978 while he was an altar boy in the Duluth Diocese.
The Ramsey County jury decided Wednesday that the diocese and a religious order were negligent in their supervision of Fitzgerald.
Catholic directory records shared by BishopAccountability.org show that Fitzgerald was quote “in residence” at an orphanage in Peoria in 1962. The records say the Guardian Angel Home housed 40 children at the time.
Fitzgerald is deceased.
David Clohessy is the Director of the national Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. He says he hopes the ruling will give other victims the courage to come forward.
Calls to the Diocese of Peoria have not been returned.