Former Altar Boy, 61, Sues Diocese

By Esteban Parra
News Journal
July 30, 2008

An anonymous 61-year-old man Tuesday became the 14th person to file a sexual-abuse lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

The lawsuit, which was filed in New Castle County Superior Court, says the victim was sexually abused by the late Rev. Edward B. Carley at least 100 times when the boy was between 11 and 14.

Carley allegedly assaulted the victim, who is identified in the suit as as John Roe No. 1, while he rode in the priest's car on the way to and from funerals and on overnight trips to seminaries and churches, the suit says.

The assaults occurred from 1952 to 1962 when the victim was an altar boy at St. Ann's Church in Wilmington.

Wilmington attorney Thomas S. Neuberger said he was not naming his client because revealing his identity would exacerbate his numerous medical and psychological injuries.

Diocese attorney Anthony G. Flynn said the diocese is aware of Roe No. 1, but did not say more because of the pending litigation.

Carley was one of 20 priests the diocese named in 2006 as having substantial or admitted abuse allegations against them. The diocese admitted Carley abused boys and apologized for his "despicable actions."

Roe No. 1 joins Doug McClure, a victim who was violently raped and sexually abused by Carley beginning at age 8, also at St. Ann's Church, from 1954 to 1956. McClure's suit is pending.

In addition to the diocese, St. Ann's also was named in the lawsuit. Carley, who died in 1998, was not.

The new lawsuit was filed as a result of Delaware's Child Victim's Act, considered the nation's toughest law against child sexual abuse.

Contact Esteban Parra at 324-2299 or


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