Archdiocese Reaches Settlement with Victim of Priest Who Served in Lowell
By Aaron Curtis
January 2, 2018
The Archdiocese of Boston has reached a five-figure settlement with William Brown, a childhood sexual abuse victim of the Rev. Arnold Kelley, who lived in Lowell for a number of years.
A media conference announcing the settlement will be made on the sidewalk outside St. Rita Church at 158 Mammoth Road in Lowell at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
"My client should be proud of himself for coming forward," Brown's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, stated in an email on Tuesday. "In doing so, he is emplowering himself, other sexual abuse victims and making the world a safer place for children.
"Sexual abuse victims should not and will not be silenced," he added.
As early as 1997, the Archdiocese of Boston was made aware of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Kelley at St. Rita's Parish in Lowell.
In 2016, Brown came forward and filed a civil complaint in Essex County Superior Court alleging the sexual abuse.
From approximately 1966 to 1976, Kelley served as associate pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Jamaica Plain.
From roughly 1973 to 1976, when Brown was 10- to 13-years-old, he attended masses at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, participated in the church band and attended Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes.
He was supervised and interacted with Kelley.
During that time Kelley "engaged in explicit sexual behavior and lewd and lascivious conduct" with Brown, the complaint states.
Brown suffers "severe emotional distress and physical harm manifested by objective symptomatology including but not limited to sadness, anxiety, anger, crying, sleep problems, drug dependence and alcohol dependence," the complaint also states.
"It is time for the Catholic Church to be transparent about all sexual abuse information it has concerning Arnold Kelley so that victims can try to heal," Garabedian said.
Robert Hoatson, president of Road to Recovery Inc., a non-profit charity in New Jersey that assists victims of sex abuse, pointed out that Kelley still lives in the Lowell/Lawrence area.
"We believe he probably did a lot more damage than has been reported," Hoatson said. "We're hoping that maybe this will spur others to get the help they need to recover."
Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselacurtis