Priest's Alleged Affair Sparks Lawsuit

A Catholic priest allegedly seduced a distraught woman after hearing her confession, telling her to have an affair with him because it was "ordained by God," the Queens, N.Y., woman claims in a lawsuit.

Judith Rodrigues-Lytwyn claims the ensuing affair caused her to suffer "severe stress, anxiety, guilt, fear, humiliation and shame," the lawsuit says.

According to the lawsuit, Father Elvis Elano professed his love for her immediately after her first confession at the Church of Our Lady of the Snows in Queens, N.Y.

"Your presence struck me like a thunderbolt," Elano allegedly told Rodrigues-Lytwyn, who says she was distraught over her recent divorce and her ex-husband's alleged drug use.

The lawsuit, first reported by the Web site The Smoking Gun, claims Elano immediately began courting her and encouraging her to have sex with him to overcome her grief over her divorce and "because it was ordained by God."

Rodrigues-Lytwyn "immediately became overwhelmed" by Elano's advances and embarked on a four-month-long affair with him, the lawsuit says.

"We're dealing with someone who was going through a difficult period in her life and was manipulated by someone so he could take advantage of her," Rodrigues-Lytwyn's lawyer, Andrew Laufer, said.

Elano, who is no longer at Our Lady of the Snows, could not immediately be reached for comment. Msgr. Ray Chappetto, the pastor at the church, was out of town and was unavailable today.

Father Kieran Harrington of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn said he could not comment because the diocese had not yet been served with the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, Elano ordered Viagra over the Internet and arranged sexual encounters with Rodrigues-Lytwyn at her house and at a hotel in Montauk, N.Y.

She claims she broke off her relationship after Elano admitted that he had developed a rash in his groin area and legs.

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