BELLEVILLE — A woman claims a priest used personal information to manipulate her into a sexual relationship.

Laura Merleau-McGrady filed a suit against Fr. Osang Idagbo and the Diocese of Belleville in the St. Clair County Circuit Court on October 11.


According to the complaint, the plaintiff claims she met the defendant during a parish event. She alleges Idagbo failed to identify himself as a priest, and she disclosed private information about herself to him.

The suit states that the defendant asked for a private meeting with the plaintiff and that when she discovered he was a priest, the defendant reassured her of his ability to still continue their relationship without compromising his role. 

McGrady alleges she continued to share secret and sensitive information with the defendant, but that the defendant used this information to manipulate her into a sexual relationship.

She alleges Idagbo sexually exploited her.

The plaintiff is seeking an unspecified amount in damages. She is represented by Jessica D. Arbour.


St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 16-L-537.

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