A Deerfield woman remained behind bars Tuesday after being accused of stalking Father Michael Pfleger, pastor of Chicago's St. Sabina Church as prosecutors contend she hoped to marry the prominent priest.
Lidia Kuzniar, 55, of Deerfield was remanded to custody after Cook County Judge Edward Harmening did not allow bail. Kuzniar was charged with felony stalking of Pfleger after at least six attempts to get in contact with the nationally known priest.
Earlier: Update: Deerfield Woman Ordered Held Without Bond
Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Lorraine Scudato detailed Kuzniar’s alleged pattern of behavior that started on Oct. 21. On that day, parishioners were standing in line to contribute money. Kuzniar got in that line and tried to join Pfleger on the altar, which apparently she believes it to be a “holy place.”
Prosecutors believe the pattern continued on Nov. 4 when Kuzniar ran down the aisle during the service before being stopped. Two doctors examined her afterward and Kuzniar said she was determined to marry Father Pfleger and no one was going to stop her.
The next day, according to the prosecution, she returned to St. Sabina where Pfleger lives in the rectory and attempts were made to physically remove her from the church. Kuzniar they lied down on the floor and let her body go limp until police came and took her to Jackson Park Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
On Nov. 8, prosecutors contended Kuzniar returned to the church with police being called in again. The next day Pfleger received an emergency stalking no contact order from Chicago Police, which was apparently served to Kuzniar at her Deerfield Nov. 10.
But Kuzniar once again returned to St. Sabina the next two Sundays and she was spotted by security each time, according to the prosecution.
On Nov. 11, when she was approached by the guard who had a copy of the stalking order, Kuzniar was said to say, “She only listened to God’s law,” according to proecutors.
When that statement was read in court proceedings Tuesday, Kuzniar shook her head as if to say yes.
Finally, this past Sunday, Kuzniar was suspected of showing up at the church and ran down the aisle, according to the prosecution. Security caught her and called police.
During the proceedings Tuesday, prosecutors stated Kuzniar had fallen in love with Father Pfleger after seeing him on TV. “The Catholic Church needed to be changed and God had told her this,” Scudato said.
At first, Kuzniar did not want an attorney to represent her as she told Harmening, “If God is with me, no one is against me.”
She said she had not been able to read the case against her as she did not have her eyeglasses. Harmening allowed her some time to read the statement after questioning whether she had ever served as her own attorney before and she said she did so during divorce proceedings.
However, Harmening eventually did call for public defender Mark Davidson to represent Kuzniar telling her it was only a bond hearing, not the actual trial.
Davidson unsuccessfully tried to get a bond set, but Harmening said the state had satisfied him that Kuzniar should not be released.
Kuzniar has another court appearance scheduled Monday.
Calls to Pfleger at St. Sabina were not returned.