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I was age five when the bishop stood over me and said, "Stop babbling about what the priest did to you." Then, forty years later... I started babbling.
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Priest w/several pedophile allegations found working as teen counselor in mental health clinic

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By Kay Ebeling

Most priest/pedophiles are not on sex offender registries, even when their crimes resulted in million dollar lawsuits. They can leverage ex-priest on a resume into jobs and situations where they live and work around children. Pedophile priests usually don't get arrested, let alone prosecuted and convicted of their crimes, because most statutes of limitations require child molestation to be reported in unrealistic periods of time. The details of crimes in civil settlements rarely make the news.

A lawsuit filed from New Mexico resulted in location of the defrocked priest / accused pedophile working as a teen alcohol and drug rehab counselor at a clinic in Indiana three years ago.

When the first lawsuit was filed, Charles "Chuck" Cichanowicz had leveraged his ex-priest status to a job at the Alpine Clinic in Lafayette, Indiana. The clinic website said, Cichanowicz "specializes in working with adolescents aged 16 and up and adults, focusing primarily on chemical dependency and addiction.”

By November 2009, “Chuck” was no longer listed on the clinic staff list, so apparently now his location is unknown.

Cichanowicz was laicized in 1994.

The website also used to say the ex-priest “specializes in working with clients in the criminal justice system. Other areas of interest include sexual orientation issues, mood disorders, sexual dependency issues, and behavioral problems. Christian counseling if requested.”

The first lawsuit claims the priest gave the Navajo teenager beer and whiskey in order to sexually abuse him, according to plaintiff attorney Pat Noaker in Minnesota, reported the Gallup Independent in November 2007.

From Navajo Times November 2007:

“A 37-year-old Navajo from Shiprock this week did something no other Navajo has ever done - take a Catholic priest to tribal court on allegations of sexual abuse.” Navajo Times November 2007.

Read about Cichanowicz in the database under C at Bishop Accountability Dot Org
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(I started working on this story in November with dreams of developing it into a full length feature story, but ... not this month.)
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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr Cichanowicz resigned from the clinic shortly after the accusation. He was not forced to resigned but did so out of respect for the clinic name and his fellow counselors. During his years as a substance abuse counselor at the clinic he helped many people overcome their addiction. Many people have already convicted him. (Whatever happen to Innocent till proven guilty?) As a victim of sexual abuse by a priest myself(not by Mr Cichanowicz) I have learned from the Gospel the meaning of forgiveness. If Mr Cichanowicz was guilty 20 so years ago, then forgiveness is in order and maybe Mr Cichanowicz has changed his life. If he or others continue their abusive behavior, then something needs to be done to stop them. For me to go after my predator of 35 years would only be greed. Mr Cichanowicz is no longer working because of all this, so I do not think you will find much of a story in him. For me, a good addictions counselor is no longer able to help people who need him the most and I have lost a good co-worker and friend.

city of angels lady said...

Maybe some accused priests are not guilty. If these cases went to trial we would be able to find out a lot more. Too bad the Church usually settles pre trial almost every time, leaving us all to wonder where the real guilt is. Thanks for your comment, taken to heart.

city of angels lady said...

Anonymous asked me to post this as he was having trouble with the Comment thing:

Your post really hit home with a friend of mine. It looks like you took a page right from my friends life. I am glad to see it is in the open for you and that you are trying to cope with this horrible tragedy. I think that too many people are too ashamed to bring it out in the open. One reason could be that it happened so long ago and that we might be afraid of our loved ones finding out. I just wonder how many cases have gone unreported.