Deceased Oblate Named in New Sex-abuse Suit

The News Journal
April 28, 2009

wo brothers and an anonymous plaintiff filed suit Monday in Delaware Superior Court, New Castle County, alleging sexual abuse by a former Salesianum School faculty member, now deceased.

Michael Jordan, 64, of Kent County, Robert Jordan, 60, of Manatee County, Fla., and "John Doe No. 7," a 61-year-old Delaware resident, say the Rev. Francis L. Norris sexually assaulted them between 1962 and 1964, when they were students at Salesianum.

Norris, who taught Latin there, was named in a similar suit filed in 2007.

Defendants include the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, the religious order of which Norris was a member, their provincial the Rev. James J. Greenfield, Salesianum School and the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

The plaintiffs allege Norris attempted to force them to perform sexual acts, at the Jordans' home in some cases, and in one case by blindfolding Doe in an assault after a confession at the school.

The Rev. Kevin Nadolski, Oblates' spokesman, said order officials had not seen the suit but "we look forward to commenting on it when we've had a chance to review it."

An Oblate spokesman in 2007 said Norris died about 20 years ago.

The suit was filed under the provisions of the 2007 Child Victim's Act, which eliminated the civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse and opened a two-year window during which cases that would have been barred by the time limit could be filed. That period expires in July.


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