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Abuse victim files suit against Spokane diocese

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On Tuesday a sexual abuse victim filed a lawsuit against the Catholic dioceses of Yakima and Spokane.

The lawsuit filed in Spokane County Superior Court claims that beginning in 1961, the Rev. Joseph Sondergeld sexually abused the victim, then 9 years old, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Roslyn.

According to the lawsuit, the Spokane Diocese knew Sondergeld had abused children in the past and failed to report him to the authorities.

The Spokane Diocese instead transferred Sondergeld, who died in 1969, to the Yakima Diocese.

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Tracy Simmons

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Lecture of Strategic Communication at the University of Idaho.

She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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