Former Altar Boy Accuses Catholic Diocese of Charleston of Facilitating Sexual Abuse

BNN [Hong Kong]

February 7, 2024

By Shivani Chauhan

A lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, alleging that a former altar boy was sexually abused by a priest. The suit accuses diocesan officials of creating an environment that facilitated such abuse, causing ‘horrific damage’ to many children.

In an unfolding saga of pain and betrayal, a former altar boy of St. Andrew Catholic Church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Charleston. The suit alleges that the plaintiff suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a now-deceased priest, Robert Kelly, from 1990 to 1994. The church and diocese are accused of being fully cognizant of the misconduct, thus implicating them in the facilitation of the heinous acts.

Allegations of Persistent Abuse

The plaintiff narrates a tale of sustained violation during his formative years, from 1990 through 1994. The lawsuit contends that the priest in question, Robert Kelly, who passed away in 2004, was the perpetrator of this abuse. The diocese and the bishop at the time are accused of creating an environment conducive to the exploitation of young boys by pedophile priests. The lawsuit describes this as a ‘hunting field’ for innocent young boys, resulting in ‘horrific damage’ to many.

Diocese Response and Legal Proceedings

Upon receipt of the lawsuit, the Catholic Diocese of Charleston has requested a transfer of the case to the U.S. District Court. The 24-page lawsuit seeks compensation for the victim’s suffering, which includes extreme pain, mental agony, and other unspecified damages. The diocese has acknowledged the lawsuit and confirmed that a response will be forthcoming in due course.

Unraveling Memories and Seeking Justice

The disturbing events were reportedly repressed by the victim until another complaint against Kelly surfaced in 2021. This triggered a resurgence of the suppressed memories, leading the plaintiff to engage therapeutic services and finally confront his traumatic past. This has culminated in the filing of his lawsuit, amplifying the call for justice and accountability within the Catholic Church.