Nun Put on Leave after Sex Allegation
Ex-Jeff Student Raises Misconduct Claim after 40 Years
Associated Press, carried in The Courier-Journal [Louisville, KY]
November 15, 2002
A nun in Massachusetts has been placed on leave after an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a fifth-grade girl at Jeffersonville's Sacred Heart Elementary School more than 40 years ago.
Sister Ann Daylor, now the director of religious education at St. Mary's Church in Georgetown, Mass., was a teacher at Sacred Heart at the time of the alleged abuse, in the 1961-1962 school year, according to a spokeswoman for her order, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catharine, Ky.
Sister Norah Guy, the spokeswoman, said Daylor, 67, would remain on administrative leave pending an investigation. Susan Borcherts, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, said the alleged victim reported the incident to the archdiocese late last month.
The unidentified woman, believed to be in her 50s, has no interest in taking legal action and declined to provide additional information when contacted by the Dominicans, Guy said.
The victim told the chancellor of the archdiocese that the incident took place in a classroom after school, according to Borcherts. She would not detail specifics of the allegation.
The woman reported that Daylor acted inappropriately only once, Guy said.
The chancellor's office received the report that "Sister Ann's behavior was interpreted as having sexual overtones and was therefore reported as sexual misconduct,'' Guy said.
She said Daylor denied the allegation when Guy and Sister Joye Gros, the order's president, met with her last week. Daylor was not available for comment yesterday, and no one could be reached at Sacred Heart.
UNDER THE ORDER'S decade-old policy governing sexual abuse allegations, Daylor was immediately placed on administrative leave until the order completes its investigation.
However, the order was struggling with how to proceed with an investigation, Guy said, given the alleged victim's reluctance to provide information. "The archdiocese will be working in conjunction with the Dominican order on this matter,'' Boston Archdiocese spokeswoman Donna Morrissey said.
Guy said Daylor, whose current location was not being made public, did not wish to make a statement.
"She's extremely upset about this. It's a tremendous sorrow that this has happened,'' Guy said.
Borcherts said the archdiocese forwarded the report to the Dominican Sisters and to the Indiana Child Protective Services Agency. Indiana law requires the archdiocese to report the allegation either to Child Protective Services or a law-enforcement agency, Borcherts said.
DENISE SCHAFER, the deputy Clark County prosecutor in charge of sexual assaults and crimes against children, said no information had been passed on to her. John Kaiser, director of the Clark County Office of Family and Children, said he also had received no information on the case.
Kaiser and Schafer said they would expect such a case to be passed on to the prosecutor's office.
Guy said the Dominican Sisters were contacted by the archdiocese on Oct. 30. Gros offered pastoral support to the victim but was rebuffed, Guy said. Borcherts said the archdiocese also has offered pastoral care to the victim.
GUY SAID THE parishioners at St. Mary's have not yet been told of the allegation, though it was widely reported by local news outlets in Massachusetts. A press release issued by the Dominican Sisters was to be delivered to the parish today, to be used as an insert in the church bulletin at services this weekend, Guy said.
The Rev. James M. Carroll, the pastor of St. Mary's, where Daylor has been assigned since 1994, said that in addition to supervising religious education for 650 children she also is his principal assistant in the one-priest parish.
Since her return to Massachusetts in 1968, Daylor has been assigned to St. Patrick's in Lynn, St. Joseph's in Belmont, Sacred Heart in Lowell, Sacred Heart in Haverhill and the Georgetown parish. Carroll said Daylor has "always been a very warm, upbeat, very very good person and her friends love her."
Guy said the allegation is the first against a nun of her order, which is one of several orders of Dominican nuns. It has about 350 nuns, with 83 of those serving in Massachusetts.
CORRECTION: published Nov. 16, 2002 p.A2 Because of a reporter's error, a story yesterday about alleged sexual misconduct by a former nun at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Jeffersonville mistakenly attributed information to Susan Borcherts, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. It was Norah Guy, spokeswoman for the Dominican Sisters of St. Catharine, Ky., who said the victim told the chancellor of the archdiocese that the incident took place in a classroom after school.
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