The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP holds news conference, today, 1pm
Unusual class action pedophile priest case is filed
It seeks to expose predators and break dozens of gag orders
Years ago, the same victim settled with Catholic religious group
Nations leading clergy sex abuse attorney says forced silence put kids at risk
It also re-victimizes those already wounded, he says, and helps only child molesters & their colleagues
For decades, clergy sex crimes were kept secret, largely because church officials offered settlements to victims only with gag orders legally binding agreements that prevented victims from exposing their predators and discussing their suffering. This new lawsuit, filed today (Thursday) in Chancery Court, would void all such agreements involving the Capuchins, a Catholic religious order that has worked for years in Delaware. It would let perhaps dozens of victims, now trapped in silence, to speak up and name their abusers.
The plaintiff in the case is Sean Dougherty who was abused in the 1970s as an eighth-grader by Fr. Paul Daleo, a member of the New Jersey-based Capuchin Franciscans. The church hierarchy settled at least two cases against him confidentially, one for $100,000 in 1995; another in 1996.
Dougherty attended St. Mary Magdalen School but was molested at St. Francis Renewal Center on Prior Road in Wilimington.
Dougherty is now in his early 40s, now lives in Pennsylvania, and is married with kids. Daleo, now in his late 50s is believed to be living in Jersey City, N.J. (but also worked for the church in Union City, N.J).
One of Doughtertys attorneys, Jeff Anderson, is the nations most experienced clergy sex abuse lawyer, having handled more than 2,000 civil cases against religious institutions since 1984.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests