Salisbury: Second Abuse Lawsuit Filed against Former St. Francis De Sales Priest

Daily Times
September 12, 2008

WILMINGTON — A second case against the Diocese of Wilmington alleging childhood sexual abuse by Rev. Leonard Mackiewicz while stationed at St. Francis de Sales Church in Salisbury was filed today.

The 51-year-old plaintiff, who was not named in the suit, alleged Mackiewicz took the then 12-year-old alter boy to Sussex County where he was allegedly abused.

The lawsuit also alleges Rev. Steven Breen, another priest at St. Francis de Sales, regularly observed Mackiewicz taking the victim up to his rectory bedroom to sexually abuse him, but never intervened A longtime Boy Scout Chaplin, Mackiewicz spent a large part of his career in parishes in Salisbury, Marydel and Cambridge, as well as in Rehoboth Beach, Georgetown, Smyrna and Dover.

The victim charges that Mackiewicz, who was publicly identified as a known child abuser by then Bishop Michael Saltarelli on Nov. 16, 2006, was a serial abuser who sexually abused numerous young boys and girls throughout his 30 year career at St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas, Holy Rosary and many other parishes.

The lawsuit, filed in Sussex County Superior Court, also charges that the Diocese had actual prior knowledge that Mackiewicz was sexually abusing young children before his transfer to St. Francis de Sales, but he was sent there anyway because of a long-standing shortage of priests in the Diocese.

Today's lawsuit builds on the separate cases recently filed by Mary Dougherty, former St. Francis de Sales altar boy David Dixon and Raymond Donahue. This is the 19th overall lawsuit by suffering victims arising from widespread childhood sexual abuse by pedophile priests in the Diocese of Wilmington.


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