Fr. E. Neil Magnus

Ordained: 1963
Status: Accused

Died: 11/27/1988
Diocese: Archdiocese of Baltimore MD

Parish priest. Teacher/counselor/chaplain at five different high schools. In residence at one, principal of another. Tribunal member. In 2016 a woman received “acknowledgment of crimes” and financial assistance for counseling from the Archdiocese due to her claims of rape by Magnus and another priest, Joseph Maskell. Magnus was Keough High School’s Religious Services Director, Maskell was chaplain. Both priests were counselors. Per the woman they raped her at a CYO picnic in 9/1970, when she was age 14 and a new Keough student. She said Magnus showed up in a police car and that the rape occurred after she was given a drink that weakened her. She said Maskell watched, then also raped her, and that his assaults continued through her high school years. She claimed, too, that on one occasion a Baltimore police officer joined Maskell and, after paying the priest, raped her. Magnus and Maskell have been accused by other former students. Both men have been implicated in the unsolved 1969 murder of Sr. Cathy Cesnik, to whom girls had confided abuse. Included on the archdiocese’s list 12/14/2018. Included in the 4/5/2023 MD Attorney General’s Report. It shows that the Archdiocese received a report from a woman in 1992 of sexual abuse by Magnus and Maskell over several years in the late 1960s, when she was a Keough student. The AG Report details abuse of 7 girls by Magnus, one as young as age 11. Several reported the presence of a police officer during some of the abuse, as well as rape by a police officer. One said the abuse by Magnus included rape with a crucifix. Another victim described Magnus as “sadistic and evil.” There are indications in Magnus’ personnel file that Archdiocesan officials new of problems with Magnus, yet kept him in ministry and appointed him as principal of high schools. Magnus died 11/27/1988.

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