Illinois Priest Named in Abuse Lawsuit

April 18, 2011

A suburban Chicago priest who also serves as an Indy race car chaplain has been accused in a federal lawsuit of child sex abuse.

The alleged victim, who is now in his 40s and living in Maryland, contends the Rev. Philip DeRea of Aurora sexually abused him over eight years while working in Washington, D.C.

Also named in the lawsuit is the Missionaires of the Sacred heart, USA Province, DeRea’s order. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago contends the order should have known DeRea was likely to abuse the plaintiff, but turned a blind eye to the abuse.

A telephone call Friday to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, for comment was not immediately returned. However, in a statement, the order said it was saddened to learn of the lawsuit.

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