Sex-Abuse Lawsuit against Scranton Diocese Settled

By Dave Janoski
The Times-Tribune [Scranton PA]
January 4, 2007

A Kentucky man who alleged he was repeatedly molested as a child by a priest from the Diocese of Scranton more than 30 years ago has agreed to a settlement of his suit against the diocese.

David Irvin, 43, filed suit in federal court in 2005, claiming diocesan officials knew of prior abuse allegations against Robert N. Caparelli, but allowed him to continue serving in local parishes and schools.

The suit, which sought more than $75,000 in damages, alleged that Mr. Caparelli, while assistant pastor at St. Mary's Church in Old Forge, began molesting Mr. Irvin in 1969, when he was 6. Mr. Irvin's family lived near Mr. Caparelli's parents' home in Lakeville, Wayne County, and allowed the boy to visit Mr. Caparelli there unsupervised, according to the suit.

Mr. Caparelli died in prison in 1994 after pleading guilty to sexual assaults against two Pike County altar boys.

The terms of the settlement have not been revealed.

Pennsylvania's statute of limitations would have normally barred Mr. Irvin from suing the diocese more than three decades after the alleged abuse. But the 20-year Navy veteran claimed an exemption under the federal Military Civil Relief Act, which stops the statute of limitations from running out while a plaintiff is in the military.

Legal arguments over how to apply the act in Mr. Irvin's case were still ongoing when the settlement was reached.

Contact the writer:


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.