|Settlement Reached over Abuse Claims at St. Edmond's
By Beth Miller
The News Journal
December 1, 2011
Fourteen Delaware men who sued the Capuchin friars, St. Edmond’s Academy and the Brothers of the Holy Cross for sexual abuse by a former Capuchin and a former lay teacher today announced a $7 million settlement in the cases and terms that include release of documents and dozens of other measures meant to protect children in the future.
The settlement resolves civil suits for nine victims of former Capuchin Friar Paul L. Daleo and five victims of former St. Edmond’s teacher and wrestling coach John J. Fleming.
The suits were filed against those who supervised the men – the New Jersey-based Capuchin Franciscan Province of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis, St. Edmond’s Academy, and the Brothers of the Holy Cross of the Eastern Province of the USA, the order that runs St. Edmond’s.
The Rev. Nick Mormando, recently elected Capuchin provincial, said he wanted to apologize to the victims and their families.
"This apology is on part of all of my Capuchin brothers for all the pain and the suffering that the victims and their families have gone through as a result of all this," Mormando said. "They will be in our prayers always. We don’t want anything like this to ever happen again, but I do want the families and victims to know that we are sorry for what they have been put through."
Terms of the settlement require the Capuchins and St. Edmond’s to release all other names of those in their institutions with proven, admitted or credible accusations of child sexual abuse.
“We want to make sure this tragedy does not happen to one more child. A key part of that is to expose church officials who committed and concealed heinous crimes, and that’s what we’re doing,” said Matthias Conaty, who is among the survivors of abuse by Daleo, pushed for passage of Delaware’s 2007 Child Victim’s Act, and co-chaired the survivors’ committee in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington’s recent $77 million bankruptcy settlement.
Daleo worked at St. Edmond's from 1978-82.
“None of these shocking disclosures would have been available to the public without the Child Victim’s Act of Delaware,” said Conaty, who works for The News Journal.
“Children are safer in Delaware today and all institutions are now on notice that covering up abuse and abusers will no longer be tolerated in this state.”
Contact Beth Miller at 324-2784 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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