Diocese Faces Third Lawsuit over Alleged Abuse by Priest

The News Journal

September 6, 2008

A 53-year-old Wilmington man filed the third lawsuit against the Diocese of Wilmington for alleged childhood sexual abuse by a now-deceased priest from St. Thomas the Apostle Church priest.

Raymond Donahue claims that in 1967, the Rev. Leonard J. Mackiewicz took him from his Wilmington home and drove him to the priest's mother's house in Sussex County, where he sexually assaulted him.

Donahue was a 12-year-old altar boy when the alleged incident occurred. Afterward, the suit claims, Mackiewicz cleaned himself up, donned his priestly clothes and performed Mass at an altar in the home, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in Sussex County Superior Court.

The suit added that Donahue reported the abuse years later to another priest, who ordered Donahue to "never set foot in his church again." According to the suit, the diocese had prior knowledge that Mackiewicz was sexually abusing young children before his transfer to St. Thomas.

The Neuberger Firm is representing Donahue as well as Mary Dougherty and David Dixon, who each filed their own suits alleging Mackiewicz had assaulted them at different churches across the Delmarva Peninsula.


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