Boone man files report claiming 2 priests sexually assaulted him in the 1990s
By Dave Faherty
March 5, 2019
There are new calls for the Charlotte Diocese to release a list of local priests who were accused of sexual abuse with children. On Tuesday, a man filed a police report in Boone claiming two priests abused him as a teenager in the early 1990s.
Channel 9 was there as Doug Dickerson walked into police headquarters to talk with investigators about three separate allegations of sexual assaults involving two priests at St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country Catholic Church.
“He was showing me what an altar boy would be, what my responsibilities would be doing and the first assault happened on the property of St. Elizabeth’s behind the altar,” Dickerson said.
Dickerson said that assault involved Father Cornell Bradley, a Jesuit priest, who came to North Carolina in the late 1980s after working primarily in Washington, D.C. and Maryland.
In December, the Maryland Province of Jesuits included Bradley on a list of priests who have “a credible or established offense against a minor.”
“At 13 I attempted suicide after the assault with Bradley by jumping off the side of the church, and since that point forward, it’s been a revolving door in and out of psychiatric institutions trying to get treatment and discussing the assaults that took place,” Dickerson said.
The Diocese of Charlotte said it was unaware of allegations involving Bradley during his time in North Carolina.
Dickerson said he was assaulted two more times by a second priest from Boone on a trip to Carowinds and near the Catholic Campus Ministry.
The Diocese of Charlotte confirmed to Channel 9 that priest, Father Damian Lynch, was later removed from his “priestly ministry” during the 1990s after the Diocese learned of a separate allegation. Officials told us Tuesday they believe the allegations of abuse made against Lynch at the time were credible.
“The Bishop here has repeatedly expressed profound sorrow over the incident of child sexual abuse. If that’s the case here, the first thing the most important thing we can say is we’re sorry,” David Hains with the Charlotte Diocese said.
The Diocese also encouraged any victim of sexual abuse to go to authorities.
Dickerson hopes the Diocese goes one step further and releases the names of priests who have broken their vows and abused children.
“Creating that transparency and coming out with that list, it makes them as if they are admitting guilt, and I don’t think that is something they are able to do,” Dickerson said.
The Diocese said discussions are underway on whether or not to release the names of priests. At this point, officials said there is no timetable on that decision.