30 Oct 2008

Greek Orthodox church settles Dallas lawsuit alleging sex abuse by longtime priest

The Dallas Morning News - October 29, 2008

By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News

A lawsuit alleging child sex abuse by Nicholas Katinas, former pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in North Dallas, is headed for an out-of-court settlement.

“An agreement in principle has been reached,” said Tahira Khan Merritt, lawyer for five plaintiffs, including former altar boys, who claimed they were abused by Mr. Katinas in the early years of his long tenure at Holy Trinity. “It’s subject to court approval.” 

Ms. Merritt said she and lawyers for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America agreed to keep confidential the amount of the settlement. The settlement must be approved by State District Judge Karen Johnson. 

Mr. Katinas was pastor of Holy Trinity, a key institution of the Dallas Greek community, for 28 years. Soon after his retirement in 2006, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America officials suspended him from working as a priest, even on a fill-in basis. 

Later, a GOAA official came to Holy Trinity and acknowledged serious misconduct by Mr. Katinas.
He has since been defrocked and is reportedly living in Greece. 

“The victims feel like they’ve done as much as they can to bring public exposure to Katinas’ abuses,” Ms. Merritt said. “Without the lawsuit being filed and public exposure to these issues, in my opinion, Katinas would not have been defrocked.” 

Mr. Katinas and the GOAA still face a more recently filed lawsuit filed in Chicago, alleging abuse by him while he worked for a church in the suburbs there.

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1 comment:

  1. Priest sentenced to 6 years

    by Anthony Conchel,The Orthodox Church OCTOBER 4, 2012 News Journal

    GALION — A Greek Orthodox Church priest who served in Mansfield as late as 2009 pleaded guilty last week to charges of attempted rape and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

    Patrick Hughes, 56, was sentenced to six years in prison. He cannot be rewarded time for good behavior and will have to register as a Tier 3 sex offender for life. Once released from prison, he will be placed on probation for five years.

    Hughes was sentenced Thursday by Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Mark Serrott.

    A native of Alabama, Hughes served at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Mansfield for about 18 years.

    Hughes, also known as the Rev. Nicholas Hughes, had lived at St. Theodore House, a small monastery on Portland Way South in Galion. He left there in 2009. Galion police Detective Eric Bohach said at the time of the arrest no other local priests are involved in this incident.

    After the sentencing, Hughes apologized.

    “I will regret it and try to do some good out of this catastrophe.”

    He also said the reason he cooperated with law enforcement was because he did not want the case to reflect badly on the church. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said Hughes was captured and sentenced within a nine-day span.

    “He accepted responsibility very quickly and agreed to appear in front of the judge and take his medicine,” O’Brien said.

    Detectives said Hughes posted an ad on an adult social networking site, looking for sexual relations with children. A detective responded to the ad and began communicating with Hughes. During the conversation, Hughes believed he was setting up a meeting with two boys, ages 9 and 14, to engage in sexual activity, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

    Hughes arranged to meet the young boys at a location in Franklin County, officials said. Upon arrival, he was arrested by deputies.

    At the time of the arrest, detectives learned that Hughes was acting dean at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Columbus.

    Detectives searched a hotel room registered to Hughes in north Columbus where they found a laptop computer. The computer was seized as possible evidence.