Ex-Bishop Verot Priest Faces Suit

By Janine Zeitlin
The News-Press
September 10, 2008

Another lawsuit is being filed linking a former Bishop Verot High School priest, the Rev. Dennis Killion, to child sexual abuse allegations. Killion worked as the Fort Myers Catholic school's activities director from July 2006 until June.

In early August, a complaint was filed in a Delaware court by four men, outlining allegations that traced to Killion's time teaching at an all-boys Catholic school in Wilmington, Del., in the mid-1980s. It charged Catholic officials knew or should have known about the abuse but did little or nothing to stop it.

The most recent lawsuit was filed Tuesday, also in Delaware, said lawyers for the man and the other individuals.

At the end of last school year, Killion, who supervised lunch and scheduled events, asked for a transfer from Fort Myers to Delaware, Verot's principal has said, noting the transfer did not stem from any accusations of misconduct. When news of the August complaint surfaced, the religious order to which Killion belonged - Oblates of St. Francis de Sales - said then that Killion had been placed on administrative leave. The Oblates said it hired an independent agency to conduct an investigation. Letters were soon released by lawyers for the four men to the media that suggested Catholic leaders knew long ago about allegations against Killion.

"What I fear the most is that there is a 'clean-up' job going on right now in Florida," said John Manly, a California-based attorney for the men in a statement announcing the most recent lawsuit. "Perpetrators do not stop offending, and Killion spent two years in Florida with limited supervision."

In the latest documents, the man, now around 40, alleges Killion sexually harassed, molested and abused him when he was a student, then around the age of 14 or 15, at the same school the other four men also attended in the 1980s. It claims abuse occurred while the then-child worked for Killion at bingo.

It alleges Catholic leaders knew or should have known the priest would commit "wrongful sexual acts with minors," because of personnel, school or other records that reflected past incidents of sexual contact and inappropriate conduct, documents claim.


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