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Deerfield woman accused of stalking priest found unfit for trial

LidiKuzniar / Phofrom Cook County Sheriff's office

Lidia Kuzniar / Photo from Cook County Sheriff's office

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Updated: March 7, 2013 10:14AM



CHICAGO — A judge has ruled that a Deerfield mother — who said she was stalking the Rev. Michael Pfleger at his South Side church because “God” told her to marry him — is unfit for trial.

Judge Mary Ellen Coughlin on Tuesday found Lidia Kuzniar unfit to stand trial following a fitness hearing, according to Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton. Kuzniar was remanded to the Cook County Department of Public Health for mental health services.

Kuzniar, 55, had been charged with one felony count each of stalking and aggravated stalking in violation of an order of protection, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

She told authorities that God asked her to marry Pfleger and told her she did not have to obey a restraining order because “she only listens to God’s law and not man’s law,” prosecutors said.

She began targeting Pfleger in October 2012 and often tried to rush toward him during Sunday services at St. Sabina Church in the 1200 block of West 78th Place, Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during a November 2012 bond hearing.

She managed to get near the altar as other parishioners made monetary offerings on Oct. 21, and allegedly ran down the aisle on Nov. 4, Scaduto said.

She was stopped and taken into the basement, where two doctors associated with the house of worship tended to her. There, Kuzniar told Pfleger’s assistant that God ordered her to marry Pfleger and “nothing would stop her,” Scaduto said.

Kuzniar told police she had left her church and fell in love with Pfleger after watching him on television. She later told authorities the Catholic Church needed to change its rules and allow priests to wed, authorities said.

She came back to the church the next day and was eventually escorted to an area hospital, where she underwent psychiatric evaluation, authorities said.

On Nov. 8, Kuzniar came back to the church and sat for several hours in a waiting room before trying to open the locked rectory door and was arrested for trespassing, Scaduto said.

The following day, Pfleger obtained an emergency restraining order against Kuzniar.

But on Nov. 11, she went back at St. Sabina and a Chicago Police officer working security confronted her in the parking lot. Kuzniar rolled down her car window, waved her copy of the restraining order and said she only obeys “God’s law,” Scaduto said.

She was again arrested for trespassing and charged with misdemeanor stalking.



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