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Delaware Catholic Church Priest & Clergy Sex Abuse List

Delaware Priest Sex Abuse List: A list of Roman Catholic Priests & Clergy members of the Delaware Diocese accused of sex abuse and/or sexual assault of minors.

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Merson Law has compiled a list of Roman Catholic Priests and Clergy members (the Delaware priest sex abuse list) accused of sexual abuse and/or sexual assault of minors. The Sexual Assault team at Merson Law specializes in Catholic Clergy and Priest Sex Abuse and Sexual Assault cases.

This information found in this list is compiled from the Database of Publicly Accused Priests and does not state or imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in the database are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty.

Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements.

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Delaware Priest Sex Abuse List

Merson Law’s Delaware Priest Sex Abuse List was compiled from accounts of sexual abuse by a member of the Delaware Catholic Church network. The names in this list are only those that have been found to be credible, however it is likely that there are names missing, due to the sheer number of accounts and the historical aversion to transparency by the Catholic Church.

This list is not endorsed by the Archdiocese, which has yet to release the names of priests found guilty through its own internal investigations.

Last NameFirst NameDioceseNotes
CarleyEdward B.Wilmington, DEAccused of abuse of boys in 1960s-1980s. Parent complained in 1957; nothing done. Another complained 1995. Suit filed 1997; dismissed on SOL. Name publicly released when one man settled for $65K in 2005. Retired in 1993; died 1998. Name on list of abusive priests released 11/16/06. More suits filed 12/06 & 7/08. 2006 suit settled 4/09 for $1.5M. Plaintiff died day after signing settlement. At least 3 other settlements 2010 & 2011. Personnel files released 2/12.
ClarahanEugene F.Wilmington, DEName released by Bp Saltarelli on 11/16/06 list of abusive priests. At that time, woman said she reported to his associate pastor in 1967 that Clarahan had abused a male friend of hers on a school trip. He did nothing and told her no one would believe her. Clarahan transferred to another parish in 1978 and then to MD in 1983. Removed from ministry 1993. Died 5/99. Three separate suits filed 10/08 alleging abuse in 1950s and 1960s. Two brothers filed suit 12/08. Personnel files released 2/12.
CornelyFrancis P.Wilmington, DECredible allegation of abuse. Name first released on list of abusive priests released by Bishop Saltarelli on 11/16/06. Died 1975. Personnel file released 2/12. On new list of accused priests 2/16/12.
DaleoPaulWilmington, DEAccused of molesting 2 youths. Confronted with allegations in 1993 and sent for treatment. Reassigned to an office job but left the order in 2003. One confidential settlement for $100,000 in 1995; another in 1996. Two new civil suits filed in 2008 and two other accusers known. Living in Jersey City 11/08 and performing baptisms, funeral rites and weddings. Another civil suit filed 3/09. 9 accusers settled 11/11 as part of $7M total settlement. Reportedly in one case, Daleo abused a 4th grade boy in the 1970s, continuing for 4 yrs.
DeLucaFrancis G.Wilmington, DEBarred from ministry, sent for counseling & retired after multiple accusations in 1993 of abuse in 1960s. Criminally charged in 10/06 with abuse of 12-13 year old youth in Syracuse, NY around 2000. Name on list released 11/06. Pleaded guilty 6/28/07. 60 days in jail and 6 yrs probation 9/07. One suit settled 2/08. Multiple suits filed 2008-2009. Laicization 8/08. Diocese filed bankruptcy 10/09. Judge found for Plaintiff in civil trial 11/10. Damages awarded 12/2/10. Personnel file released 2/12.
DempsterDouglas W.Wilmington, DEIn late 1960s, Dempster was charged with investigating allegations against his close friend, Frank DeLuca. He told the complaining family to never speak of the matter again so they thought church was taking care of the matter. Now credible allegation of abuse have been made against him. Name on list of abusive priests released by Bp Saltarelli 11/16/06. Removed from ministry 1993 & claim settled. Suit filed against him personally. Lives in MD. Personnel file released 2/12.
DrelichRobertWilmington, DEOblates in DE and PA announced settlement 8/4/11 with 40 victims of sexual abuse who filed suits in Delaware. Plaintiffs will share in $24.8M settlement as will 150 victims who settled earlier with Wilmington Diocese. One of terms was that Order release names of 12 Oblates with substantiated allegations of abuse. Drelich is one of the 12. He is living in monitored location in MD. Removed from ministry 2010.
DreyerHenry J.Wilmington, DERetired in 1966 and died in 1969. Credible allegation of abuse. Name first released on list of abusive priests released by Bishop Saltarelli 11/16/06. Personnel File released 2/12.
Dudzinski, Jr.Edward F.Wilmington, DEDiocese knew pre-ordination about behavior with boys. Accused 1985 of abusing boy; placed on leave. Boy sued 1989; settled with diocese. Sent for treatment. Put on probation by VA Board of Counseling 10/10/02 for boundary violations with 2 male minors he was counseling. Ordered 5/16/03 to surrender counseling license after Board learned of the 1989 suit Named in 11/08 civil suit by family of youth who suicided 1987. Judge upheld right to sue 5/09. Laicized. Another suit filed 5/09.
DunneGerald M.Wilmington, DEPlaced on leave by Archdiocese of Philadelphia after 6/09 lawsuit filed in Delaware alleged he abused one youth approximately 30 yrs previously at Salesianum High School in Wilmington. No known previous allegations. Dunne had passed both the Archdiocesan and Order’s screening procedures. He denied the allegation.
GardinerRichard F.Wilmington, DECredible allegation of abuse. Name first released on list of abusive priests released by Bishop Saltarelli 11/16/06. Died Oct. 10, 1989. Personnel file released 2/12.
GondekAlbert J.Wilmington, DEMember of Wilmington-Philadelphia Province of Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Known to have worked in DE, PA, NC, FL dioceses. A 30-year-old man told the Raleigh diocese in 1993 that Gondek sexually assaulted him during confession in Wilmington NC. Order said it had Gondek undergo counseling. Kept in ministry. The man wrote to the Charlotte diocese years later, after Gondek’s transfer there. Pastor of Lexington NC parish beginning 1998. In 10/07 man alleged Gondek molested him as a teen at a MD summer camp in 1960, when Gondek was a seminarian. Placed on leave; reinstated 12/07 after cleared by investigators. Suspended 12/15, after man said Gondek sexually abused him at age 18 and others who were minors 5 years previously. Criminal investigation initiated.
GrantRichard N.Wilmington, DEAccused in a suit filed in 4/09 of repeated sexual abuse of a high school boy in 1982-84, starting at age 16. The principal of the school, James W. O’Neill (accused by another student), apparently knew about Grant’s abuse of the boy. Grant reportedly became a parish priest in FL in 1992 and died of AIDS in 1993. Name released as part of Oblate $24.8M 8/11 settlement with 40 individuals. Assigned at one time to Salesianum School.
HarneyPeter P.Wilmington, DEHarney, a native of Ireland, graduated from St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore and worked in MD and DE during his entire career. He retired 12/74. Died 04/16/00. Apparently he was named in civil suit filed in DE in 2009 as his personnel file was to be released 11/09 byWilmington Diocese as part of diocese’s bankruptcy filing. File finally released 2/12.
HarveyJohn X.Wilmington, DEOblates in DE and PA announced settlement 8/4/11 with 40 victims of sexual abuse who filed suits in Delaware. Plaintiffs will share in $24.8M settlement as will 150 victims who settled earlier with Wilmington Diocese. One of terms was that Order releasenames of 12 Oblates with substantiated allegations of abuse. Harvey was one of the 12. He died in 1971. One of his assignments was at Salesianum School.
HeckelJohn F.Wilmington, DEWorked at St. Anthony of Padua in Wilmington between 1960-61. Accused of abuse by 1 at Salesianum High School in 1969 in suit filed 6/15/09. Died 6/21/02. Oblates in DE and PA announced settlement 8/4/11 with 40 victims of who filed suits in DE. Plaintiffs will share in $24.8M settlement as will 150 victims who settled earlier with Wilmington Diocese. One of terms was that Order release names of 12 Oblates with substantiated allegations of abuse. Heckel (spelled Heckle) was on the list.
HermleyHaroldWilmington, DENamed in 4/09 civil suit by one man re abuse between 1970-1972 while a student at Salesianum School and during visits to NJ and Philadelphia. Previously taught in Alexandria, VA (Bishop Ireton 1964-1967–removed after possible allegations). Transferred to Philadelphia in 1972. Oblates in DE and PA announced $24.8M settlement 8/4/11 with 40 victims who filed suits in DE. One of terms was release of names of 12 Oblates with substantiated allegations of abuse. Hermley was on list. Died 1983.
IrwinWilliam E.Wilmington, DEIn 4/02 anonymous caller accused Irwin of child abuse years ago. Irwin reported the call to diocesan officials & he was removed from active ministry. He was semi-retired at the time the allegations were made. Police say not enough info to justify an official investigation. Per 1/03 article, Irwin had officially resigned from his position and could no longer function as a priest. Worked in Maryland for 10 yrs between 1976-1986 before returning to Wilmington. Died 2005. Records released 2/12.
KillionDennisWilmington, DERemoved 8/08 when Civil suit(s) alleged abuse of 4 boys at Salesianum High in Wilmington in mid-1980s. Two reported abuse at the time. Order did nothing. Worked in MD; also at Bishop Verot High in Ft. Myers, FL from 2006-2008. Just assigned to St. Bedethe Venerable in Holland PA when allegations made. More suits filed 9/08-4/10. All claims w Diocese settled 2/11. 2 men settled with Oblates 2/11 for $700K each. Name released as part of 8/11 Oblate $24.8M settlement with 40 individuals.
Lind, Jr.John A. (Alfred J.)Wilmington, DEAccused of abuse of two boys in their early teens between 1963-1965. 1st youth was at St. Catherine of Siena Church. Transferred in 1965 and then allegedly abused the 2nd youth. Removed from active ministry 1966. Died 1997. One man received $68K settlement in 2004 and diocese was negotiating with the 2nd man in 2005. Named on 11/06 list of abusive priests released by the Bishop. Named in new civil suit by 1 man 1/09. Personnel files released 2/12.
MackiewiczLeonard J.Wilmington, DECredible allegation of abuse. Named in civil suit filed 10/94 (shortly after his death) which alleged abuse of one youth in 1987. Removed from ministry 1987 and died 1994. Name on list of abusive priests released by Bishop Saltarelli on 11/16/06. Woman filed civil suit 8/08 alleging abuse in 1966 when she was 13. Suit also alleges that there were 9 other victims, including 2 minor males. A man filed separate suit 8/08 re abuse in 1970. 2 suits filed 9/08. Personnel files released 2/12.
MartinKenneth J.Wilmington, DEArrested 2001 for child sex abuse while a lay teacher at Loyola Blakefield H.S. in 1970s. Adjudicated in 12/01, no trial. Court ruled “probation before judgment.” On list of abusive priests released by Bp Saltarelli 11/16/06. Also on list released by Baltimore Archdiocese 9/02. “Formally barred” by Vatican 9/08. Worked for entity owned by Chicago Arch. for several yrs after sentence. Wilmington paid cash payments until 11/09. Blocked release of personnel files 12/12. Pension reinstated by Court 12/12.
McDevittJohn M.Wilmington, DEAccused in 4/09 civil suit of abusing a student at Salesianum School in Wilmington during student’s junior yr. 1985-1986. Same plaintiff also alleged abuse by Dennis Killion. Worked in DE, PA and NJ. Died 10/99. In 6/09, nephew of Cardinal John J.O’Connor of New York (dec’d) filed suit in DE alleging abuse by McDevitt in Philadelphia in early 1990s. This was after order had already removed him from 1 school. Name released as part of 8/11 Oblate $24.8M settlement with 40 individuals. Name included on Harrisburg diocese’s 8/1/18 list, accused after his death of having kissed a child.
McGovernHarold J.Wilmington, DEOblates in DE and PA announced settlement 8/4/11 with 40 victims of sexual abuse who filed suits in Delaware. Plaintiffs will share in $24.8M settlement as will 150 victims who settled earlier with Wilmington Diocese. One of terms was that Order release names of 12 Oblates with substantiated allegations of abuse. McGovern is one of the 12. Removed from ministry 2008. He is living in monitored location in Wash. DC. One of his assignments was at Salesianum School.
McGovernJoseph A.Wilmington, DEExtern priest from Wilmington, DE. diocese. Sent to Philadelphia to study after abuse allegations in DE. Began saying mass without permission and was asked to leave. Listed in Philadelphia 2005 Grand Jury Report. Name also appears on list of abusive priests released by Bishop Saltarelli 11/16/06. Removed from ministry 1986; presently lives in Philadelphia. Wilmington is still paying his pension & health benefits. Personnel file released 2/12.
MullenTimothy F.Wilmington, DENamed in Whitwell v. Archmere et al. as a “sexual predator” whom the Norbertines “chose to move … around over the years rather than defrock [him], report [him] to the civil authorities or warn the general public.” Named Prior of Archmere Academy in 1993. Died 1/29/04. Court papers in DE bankruptcy said he participated in gang rape of one youth who later committed suicide.
NorrisFrancis L.Wilmington, DELawsuit filed 11/30/07 by a man accusing Norris of attempted rape in 1962 when the man was a boy attending Salesianum School. Suit alleged school, order and diocese had prior knowledge of abuse by Norris. He died in 1985. In 4/09 3 more plaintiffs filed suit re abuse at same school. Case against diocese settled 10/30/09. Jury found order liable 11/09 but awarded no damages. New trial ordered 2/22/11. Name released as part of 8/11 Oblate $24.8M settlement with 40 individuals.
O’BrienJohn FrancisWilmington, DEAccused in 6/09 civil suit of abusing one anonymous plaintiff in early 1960s. Director of CYO between 1962-2003. Died 1/03. Diocese said there had been no previous complaints. Personnal file to be released 11/09. New lawsuit filed 6/10 re abuse in 1960s.
O’NeillJames W.Wilmington, DEAccused in 2004 DE suit of abuse of 1 youth from 1976-1985. Moved to Philadelphia in 1985 after complaint. Working in Charlotte, NC when suit was filed. Removed 2003. In 12/06, Court ruled that suit could go forward but not on original claim from 1985. Did not appear for depo because he was ministering in South Africa. O’Neill admitted the abuse. Order settled 3/08. Diocese settled 5/08. Name released as part of 8/11 Oblate $24.8M settlement with 40 individuals. Living in monitored setting.
PaulHenry A.Wilmington, DEOblates in DE and PA announced settlement 8/4/11 with 40 victims of sexual abuse who filed suits in DE. Plaintiffs to share in $24.8M settlement and 150 victims who settled earlier with Wilmington Diocese. One of terms was that Order release names of 12 Oblates with substantiated allegations of abuse. Paul was one. Assignments included Salesianum School in DE, also worked in Dioceses of Erie, Allentown, Buffalo, and the archdioceses of Philadelphia and New York. Named in the 8/14/18 PA Grand Jury Report. Report 4/79 to Allentown diocese that Paul was molesting little girls at Sacred Heart in New Philadelphia. Another claim a few months later re a young girl. Left diocese, assigned to St. Joachim in Philadelphia. Died 1982.
PowerWalter D.Wilmington, DECredible allegation of abuse. Name first released on list of abusive priests released by Bishop Saltarelli 11/16/06. Retired 1983; Died 1998. Named in civil suit filed 9/08 in DE by one man who alleged abuse at Saint Helena Church in Wilmington in 1950s. Suit says DE officials knew of Power’s history and just transferred him to MD about 1957. Also named in 2nd 9/08 suit in DE by one man who alleged abuse in MD in 1952-1954. New suit filed 6/10 re 1970s abuse. Personnel files released 2/12.
RichardsonJames EdwardWilmington, DEAfter he retired, he was placed on leave 6/09 after being named by one anonymous plaintiff in newly-filed civil suit. Plaintiff said he was abused on two occasions in 1960s. Richardson denied all accusations. Worked as drug and alcohol counselor since 1982. In 1989 he was assigned to Center for Pastoral Care. He was a part-time chaplain of St. Edmond’s Academy. Faculties restored by Diocese 11/19/09 after investigation could not find any credible evidence . Lawsuit still pending. Died 02/14/14.
Rogers (in Wilmington, DE)Francis J.Wilmington, DECredible allegation of abuse of a minor in 1981. Removed from ministry 2003. Name appears on list of abusive priests released by Bishop Saltarelli 11/16/06. Fighting release of personnel files 2/12.
SarroJohn A.Wilmington, DECredible allegation of abuse, stemming from early 1980s while working in Papua New Guinea. Diocese said it learned of this in 1997; removed from ministry 1998. Name first released by Bishop Saltarelli 11/16/06 on list of abusive priests. Living in monitored religious community in Maryland. As of 11/09 Diocese was still paying his pension and health benefits and paying $4,000/mo for his assisted living expenses. Personnel files released 2/12. Bishop said diocese applied for laicization in 2009, but Vatican did not approve. Sarro charged in 1/18 with fondling and rape of a girl under age 16 in the early 1991-1994, when he pastor of St. Helena in Bellefonte. Sarro stated it “happened by accident.” Pled not guilty 2/9/18. Died in 7/23/18, six months before scheduled trial.
VignolaCarmen D.Wilmington, DECredible allegation of abuse. Name first released on list of abusive priests released by Bishop Saltarelli 11/16/06. Died in 1989. Civil suit filed 10/08 alleged abuse of a 14 yr old boy, beginning in 1980s. Personnel records released 2/16/12 as part of bankruptcy process
WalkerHarry DeanWilmington, DEAccused for the first time in 2010 in claim filed in Bankruptcy Court. A man alleged abuse by Walker when he was a 15-year-old parishioner of St. Francis de Sales parish in Salisbury MD in the 1960s. Per victim advocates, other accusers known. Walker left the Catholic priesthood in 1972. He went on to work as a youth minister beginning 1972-73 at a Wilmington Presbyterian church, then hired as Director of the Youth Action Center in Newark and youth pastor at Faith City. Prominent leader in Wilmington’s Irish-American community. Continued to be often called “Rev.” and/or referred to as “former Roman Catholic priest.” Fighting release of personnel files 2/12. A list in 2/12 of accused priests shows he was laicized.
WeaverHarry PeterWilmington, DEName appears on list of priests whose personnel files are to be released 11/09 as part of Wilmington Diocese’s bankruptcy filing.
WigginsCharles W.Wilmington, DEName on list of abusive priests released by Bp Saltarelli on 11/16/06. Removed from ministry 2003; lives in Norwood, PA. Civil suit filed by one woman 6/09 alleged abuse in 1986 at St. Mark’s high school. Suit dismissed 5/10 by court for failure to timely serve Wiggins. Diocese was paying cash payments to Wiggins until 11/09 but still wants to continue health benefits pending resolution of Bankruptcy. Won argument to block release of personnel file.

Please note that this Delaware priest sex abuse list is not an exhaustive and complete list because new information of sexual abuses and sexual assaults by priests and clergy of the Roman Catholic Church becomes available daily.

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