Former Bishop Verot Priest Being Sued in Sexual Abuse Case


August 4, 2008

The News-Press and are following accusations of sex abuse against former Bishop Verot activities director Fr. Dennis Killion.

A priest who spent two years at Bishop Verot High School and is being accused of sexual abuse no longer works at the Catholic school in Fort Myers, the principal announced this morning.

Fr. Chris Beretta, principal at Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers talks to the media and two members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) representatives in front of the school regarding Fr. Dennis Killion. Killion worked at the school for two years. A lawsuit has been filed regarding sexual abuse allegations in Delaware. Killion was transferred to Wilmington, Del., two months ago

Fr. Chris Beretta said Fr. Dennis Killion, who came to the school in 2006 as activities director, asked for a transfer to Wilmington, Del., at the end of last school year. Beretta said Killion, who worked in the school's lunchroom, left Fort Myers about two months ago.

Wilmington is where the lawsuits that were filed this morning accuse Killion of sexually assaulting four boys, who are now grown men.

"This is very upsetting and very disappointing obviously for us," Beretta said, outside the school where a national advocacy group had organized a press conference to announce the lawsuits.

"I know absolutely nothing in his time here that has made me suspicious or concerned," Beretta said.

Joelle Casteix, a regional director for the advocacy group SNAP, which stands for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, pleaded with Beretta before the 11 a.m. press conference to do outreach with parents to find other potential victims and connect them with law enforcement.

"You may have boys here now who are suffering and in pain," she said.

Beretta said his staff is trained to recognize signs of abuse and that he'll address parental concerns when school starts Aug. 11. The principal said Killion passed background checks before he was hired and that his transfer was done under "normal" circumstances. He said Killion rarely had one-to-one contact with the school's 750 students.

Beretta had initially asked SNAP and the news media to leave the parking lot before answering questions about Killion. For more information about SNAP go to

10:33 a.m. update

A sidewalk press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. today in front of Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers where sex abuse survivors will announce the filing of four child sex abuse lawsuits against Fr. Dennis Killion, the activities director at Bishop Verot.

The lawsuit accuses Killion of sexually assaulting four boys at Salesianum High School in Wilmington, Del.


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