Priest, Catholic Church hid dark secret, victims group says

Tampa Tribune

By Elaine Silvestrini | Tribune Staff
Published: January 27, 2015

TAMPA — The Rev. Innocente Clementi died in 1999 at the age of 78.

While many remembered him for his love of music, others say he took a dark secret to the grave.

On Tuesday, an organization dedicated to exposing sexual abuse by priests sought to shed light on what organizers said were Clementi’s victims at Mary Help of Christians School in East Lake. The school closed in 2006, 74 years after it opened its doors as a boarding school for troubled boys. By the time the school closed, it was a coeducational day school.

The Eastern U.S. Province of the Salesian Society, the religious order that operated the school, faced several lawsuits alleging abuse. At least one suit settled in 2008.

On Tuesday, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Catholic officials quietly settled another claim by a former child victim of Clementi. And another man, a retired police officer, says he was abused by Clementi and has contacted SNAP, the organization says.

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