Ben Hart Mar. 27, 2014, 9:22am

A Cook County resident is suing the Archdiocese of Chicago after being sexually abused by a priest.

M. O'Neal filed a lawsuit March 14 in the Cook County Circuit Court against the Archdiocese of Chicago, citing negligence and the disregard for others' safety.

According to the complaint, O'Neal was a student at Our Lady Gate of Heaven, 2338 E. 99th St. in Chicago, from late 1990 through 1991. O'Neal claims John Zimmerman, a priest the defendant employed at that time, inappropriately touched his genitals.

The suit alleges Zimmerman exhibited this behavior the entire time O'Neal was a student at the Southside school. O'Neal claims the defendant negligently hired Zimmerman and failed to investigate his past before employing him to work at an all boy school.

O'Neal contends he has suffered from pain of mind and body, shock, emotional distress, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, disgrace, humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the alleged sexual abuse.

He is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, as well as court costs, and is being represented by Chicago attorneys Jeffrey S. Deutschman and Bradley A. Skafish, of Deutschman & Associates P.C.

Cook County District Court case number 2014L003073.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at Cook County Courthouse. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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