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Lawsuit accuses 2 priests of molesting Missouri boy

KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Missouri man has filed a lawsuit claiming two former priests at the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph molested him more than two decades ago and that the diocese did nothing to stop the abuse.

The lawsuit against the two men and the diocese was filed Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court. Three members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests held a news conference at the Kansas City diocese to announce the filing. The plaintiff, whose real name is not given, did not attend.

He accuses the Rev. Mark Honhart and Hugh Monahan of abusing him in the 1980s.

Monahan, who according to the Kansas City diocese left the priesthood in 1989, has been accused of abusing several boys in the 1970s and 1980s and was the target of several lawsuits. A current location for Monahan could not be found, and the diocese said it hasn’t been able to contact him since the first complaints against him came to light in the 1990s.

The diocese said it resolved six complaints alleging abuse by Monahan in 2008 through a mediated settlement recorded in the Jackson County court.

Honhart was an assistant pastor with the Diocese of Scranton in Pennsylvania until February, when he was dismissed.

“On Feb. 2, 2011, the Diocese of Scranton received an allegation that Father Honhart, while he was serving in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in the 1980s, had committed an act of sexual misconduct,” the diocese said. “In response to the allegation, the Diocese of Scranton immediately removed Father Honhart from ministry.”

The diocese said it informed the Kansas City diocese of its actions and told local authorities about the allegation.

The plaintiff, now 37, said he was 8 or 9 years old when Honhart began sexually abusing him after the boy got into trouble for chewing gum at Holy Cross Parish in Kansas City.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff started acting out after the abuse and was kicked out of a leadership program when he was 13 years old. He said that’s when Monahan took him under his wing and sexually abused him.

The suit claims a priest in training witnessed some of the abuse by Monahan.

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