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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

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

Nation’s 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”

At a sidewalk news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim and his attorneys will disclose and describe an unusual new class action lawsuit, the first one dealing with predator priests in Delaware. It seeks no money, only a court injunction that would stop a Catholic order from forcing victims of predator priests from speaking out

Thursday, May 14, 1:00 p.m.

On the sidewalk outside the New Castle County Courthouse, 500 North King Street in Wilmington, DE

A Delaware native who was sexually assaulted by a pedophile priest, and his two lawyers (one from Delaware, one from Minnesota, who is the most prominent attorney in the US in predator priest cases)


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 Doughterty’s attorneys, Jeff Anderson, is the nation’s most experienced clergy sex abuse lawyer, having handled more than 2,000 civil cases against religious institutions since 1984.

Attorney Jeff Anderson of St. Paul MN, 612 817 8665 cell, 651 227 9990 office
Attorney Tom Conaty of Wilmington DC, 302 893 5004 cell, 302 302 894 1111 office

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests