Sexual abuse lawsuit names two former Lombard priests

Updated 11/19/2015 2:08 PM

A former member of Lombard's St. Pius X Catholic Church is suing the Diocese of Joliet and two former priests claiming he was sexually abused as an 11-year-old in 1976.

According to the suit, filed Nov. 6 in Will County, Rev. Henry Slade caught the boy "skipping Mass and ordered him to go into the rectory at St. Pius X, and specifically to Slade's bedroom."


When the boy refused to perform a sex act, the suit states Slade "physically attacked the plaintiff."

The suit also claims Rev. Phillip Dedera heard and ignored the boy's screams for help but later offered him marijuana after the attack to "help him forget" it.

Both priests are named in the Diocese's published list of priests facing credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

According to DuPage County court records, Slade is now 76. Calls to his Denver apartment, seeking comment on the suit, were not returned. Burr Ridge attorney Jerome Vinkler, who filed the suit, did not return a message left at his office.

Diocese spokesman Edward Flavin responded to a request for comment with an emailed statement.

"We will not comment on the allegations, (which date back almost 40 years ago), because the lawsuit is pending," Flavin wrote Wednesday. "However, I can tell you that the two accused priests were both removed from ministry many years ago, as indicated by the list posted on our website at:"

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff had repressed memories of the alleged 1976 abuse and discovered it while undergoing treatment for "alcohol abuse, drug abuse and psychological injuries."

Flavin said Slade was removed in 1990 after he was arrested on charges he sexually abused an 18-year-old man with physical disabilities. According to DuPage County Court records, Slade, who at the time was pastor of St. Isidore Catholic Church in Bloomingdale, pleaded guilty one month after his arrest and was sentenced to one year probation, ordered to pay court fines and to undergo counseling.

Flavin said Dedera was removed in 2002, following credible allegations of abuse. Attempts to reach Dedera were unsuccessful.

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