Records: Family drained priest abuse victim’s settlement accounts

The News Journal

Beth Miller, The News Journal July 30, 2014

A 43-year-old Newark man who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest was victimized again by family members who used much of his $347,901 in settlement money to buy cars, jewelry and other property, a Chancery Court judge said in a scathing opinion Tuesday.

Duane Hardy was among more than 150 abuse victims who reached settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in 2011. He was among those who had been sexually assaulted by the late Rev. Edward B. Carley, who died in 1998.

The money was meant to supplement his disability payments and provide for his care for a lifetime. A trust set up in his name, though, was drained by two family members, court documents say – his older sister, Sherry Hardy, and her son, Michael Hardy – to barely $3,000 in just five months’ time.

Court records show both denied cheating their relative out of his funds, saying their purchases were made with his consent and often for his benefit. Neither Sherry nor Michael Hardy could be reached for comment Wednesday.

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