Former Delaware Priest Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of Child

By Beth Miller
The News Journal [Delaware]
June 28, 2007

The Rev. Francis G. DeLuca, who served as a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington for 35 years, pleaded guilty today to sexually abusing a Syracuse, N.Y., boy over a four- to five-year period.

The Rev. Francis G. DeLuca

DeLuca, 77, could face a maximum of two years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 27 by Syracuse City Court Judge Kate Rosenthal, Assistant District Attorney Kari Armstrong said. He pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual abuse, two counts of third-degree sexual abuse, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child — all of the charges prosecutors had made against him.

Armstrong said prosecutors recommended "shock probation" of 45 days in the county jail, but Rosenthal told DeLuca he probably would get no worse than probation. Armstrong said probation would be six years.

DeLuca was arrested in October, after a Syracuse teen told his parents he had been sexually abused by the priest from the time he was 12 or 13 until the time he was 17.

DeLuca served in the Diocese of Wilmington until 1993, when similar allegations arose here and he was allowed to retire to his hometown, Syracuse, by former Bishop Robert E. Mulvee.

Shortly after DeLuca's arrest, Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli released the names of 20 diocesan priests against whom the diocese had substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse.

Contact Beth Miller at 324-2784 or


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.