I-Team Investigation: Priest Abuse Settlement

KYW [Philadelphia PA]
February 14, 2005

An CBS 3 Eyewitness News investigation has exposed years of sexual abuse by a Delaware Valley Priest.

Now, as I-Team Reporter Tom Negovan explains, there's a financial settlement from the Catholic Church, a long-overdue apology, and a victim who is telling his story for the first time only to CBS 3.

John Dougherty tells us he's convinced he's not alone, that Father Carley had dozens of other young victims and that many of them still live in the Delaware Valley.

The church says if there are other victims, it hopes they'll come forward and get help.

John Dougherty understands: "When you tell someone you've been raped, people just don't know how to react to that. They don't know what to say."

Dougherty was a ten-year-old altar boy in Wilmington when the abuse began: "It was every day, man. It never stopped."

Negovan has learned his accused abuser was Father Edward Carley, who died in 1998.

In the 50's and 60's, Carley was a figure revered by local Catholics. The truth came from a source inside the Wilmington Diocese who told the CBS3 I-Team that Father Carley was "a bad man," going on to admit that "Father Carley was a pedophile."

"What he did to us kids and to me and my brother was deliberately harmful. It wasn't just to satisfy his sick sexual needs. It was harmful," said Dougherty.

Now, Dougherty's a professional musician. A Jazz guitarist: "Yeah, it is my therapy."

Although Negovan says he hasn't played much lately as his time is consumed by another kind of therapy.

He estimates it's cost over half-a-million dollars, but Dougherty just settled with the Wilmington Diocese for $65,000 and an admission of Father Carley's abuse.

In a statement, the Church calls that abuse "despicable" and says: "We continue to pray for Mr. Dougherty's ongoing healing…healing, that may take a lifetime."

"I don't know what I'm going to do," remarked Dougherty.

Now, Dougherty tells CBS 3 he's convinced he's not alone and believes Father Carley had dozens of other young victims and that many of them still live in the Delaware Valley.

The church says if there are others, it hopes they'll come forward and get help.


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