Alleged rapist seminarian is now at St. Louis University

(For Immediate Release March 23, 2022)

Alleged rapist seminarian is now at St. Louis University

Seminarian accused of rape now at SLU

He recently lived with two former archdiocesan leaders

Bishop bizarrely claims that the alleged victim is really the perp

The same bishop, from St. Louis, also fired an investigator

SNAP to leaflet students warning of 20 SLU accused predators

Group wants SLU to post names of predators who worked here

WHAT: Handing out leaflets and holding signs, clergy abuse victims will warn St. Louis University students and staff about a seminarian who allegedly raped, assaulted, and spread defamatory rumors about a young man in 2019. The accused now attends the university and faces a recently filed civil lawsuit.

Victims will also prod SLU officials to post on their website the names of credibly accused child molesting clerics (like the archdiocese does). Their leaflet will name at least 15 priests who have been publicly accused of abuse and have lived or worked at SLU.

WHEN: Thursday, March 24, 2022, at 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: On the sidewalk outside the Starbucks at Grand and Forest Park Blvd. (on the edge of the St. Louis University campus)

WHO: Four-six members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a St. Louis man who is the group's former longtime national director.

WHY: A new lawsuit charges that a Tennessee church organist was raped and sexually harassed by a young seminarian who now attends St. Louis University and who continues to be protected by his bishop, a former top St. Louis archdiocesan official.

The accused man, Wojciech (Wojtek) Sobczuk, has reportedly been kicked out of the Jesuits and two Catholic seminaries, because of allegations of sexual misconduct.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ex-church-worker-tennessee-claims-lawsuit-was-raped-seminarian-rcna17469

He had been living with former St. Louis Archbishop Justin Rigali and St. Louis native Rick Stika, who is now Knoxville's bishop. (Stika was a vicar here for a decade and was in charge of handling child sex abuse cases.  In 1999, he coordinated Pope John Paul II's visit to St. Louis.)

In 2019, Stika hired Sobczuk as his assistant and let him work at the Knoxville cathedral, where he allegedly raped and sexually harassed the young organist.
Stika admits firing an investigator who was hired to look into the rape allegation because the investigator "was asking all these questions." Stika says he “knew in [his] heart” the seminarian was innocent.

In a bizarre twist, the suit also charges that Stika has 'turned the tables,' claiming that the seminarian was himself sexually assaulted by the lawsuit’s plaintiff, the organist.
In 2021, Sobczuk was dismissed from St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. In 2019, he was ousted from Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake Michigan. Both moves were prompted by allegations of sexual misconduct &/or "boundary violations."  

Sobczuk is a native of Poland who came to Knoxville in 2018.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ex-church-worker-tennessee-claims-lawsuit-was-raped-seminarian-rcna17469
https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/stika-knoxville-diocese-sued-for?s=r

Here's a copy of the lawsuit: https://www.jjsjustice.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Complaint.pdf.

Confirmation of Sobczuk's presence at SLU will be provided by SNAP and is also available here: https://ws.slu.edu/peoplefinder/index.php (A whistleblowing Knoxville Catholic also informed SNAP that he was here in St. Louis.)


Maryland attorney Patrick Thronson represents Sobczuk's alleged victim (443 471 0753).

https://www.jjsjustice.com/lawsuit-alleges-bishop-diocese-of-knoxville-failed-to-stop-rape/

https://catholicherald.co.uk/big-trouble-in-little-knoxville-misconduct-cases-bring-systemic-cultural-weaknesses-into-sharp-focus/

https://www.knoxnews.com/story/opinion/2022/03/22/letter-critique-knoxville-dioceses-handling-abuse-cases/9382107002/

CONTACT
David Clohessy 314-566-9790, [email protected], Doug Lay 314-646-9316


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