Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement


For immediate release:
Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sex abuse victims respond to new Delaware lawsuit

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)

Every time a victim speaks up, kids are safer. Every time an institution that hires or shields a child molester faces legal action, kids are safer.

We hope that Matt's courage today will make Delaware employers think long and hard before carelessly hiring a suspicious individual, ignoring the warning signs of abuse, or shunning victims and witnesses who report abuse or evidence of abuse.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 17 years and have more than 8,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688), Mary Grant (626-419-2930), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940)


May 7, 2008

Wilmington man sues over sex abuse by priest

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

A 39-year-old Wilmington man filed suit this morning in Delaware Superior Court, alleging that he was abused for four years by a Capuchin friar while a student at St. Edmond’s Academy, a private Catholic school in Brandywine Hundred.

In the 48-page suit, Matthias C. Conaty alleges that the Rev. Paul Daleo molested and sexually abused him from fourth through seventh grades -- sometimes while performing as a “Christian Clown” at various school and church events.

In addition to Daleo, defendants include the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, the Capuchin Friars, the Brothers of the Holy Cross, and St. Edmond’s Academy.

"No child should have to suffer the shame and overwhelming pain that Matt, and then his family, had to endure," said John C. Manly, one of the attorneys representing Conaty. "Paul Daleo used his position to earn the trust of children and their families. Then he used that trust to rape and molest innocent kids. The facts in this case are shocking, and everyone - the school, the diocese and the Capuchins - who knew that Daleo was a predator and let him have unfettered access to kids, must be held accountable."

The suit is filed under the provisions of the Child Victim’s Act, passed by the state legislature last year. The law eliminated the statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse and opened a two-year “window,” during which previously time-barred suits could be filed.

In 2006, shortly after Bishop Michael Saltarelli released the names of 20 diocesan priests against whom the diocese had credible allegations of child sexual abuse, the Capuchins became the first religious order to acknowledge such allegations against one of their members, confirming two confidential settlements with men who said they were abused by Daleo.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests