Woman Says Priest Assaulted Her As Teen
Filing As Jane Coe, 57-Year-Old Says She Was Molested Three Times in 1965 and 1966

By Ryan Cormier
News Journal
October 12, 2008

A 57-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, alleging she was molested as a child by a priest.

The Delaware woman, suing anonymously and known in court papers as Jane Coe # 1, says she was abused sexually by the Rev. Eugene F. Clarahan.

Last week in another lawsuit, a Colorado judge claimed that he, too, had been sexually abused by Clarahan.

The most recent suit, filed Friday in New Castle County Superior Court, alleges that Clarahan molested the woman three times in 1965 and 1966, when she was 14 and 15, in a barn on her parents farm in southern Delaware.

Clarahan retired in 1993 and died in 1999. He was one of 20 priests named in 2006 by the diocese as having "corroborated or otherwise substantiated" claims of abuse lodged against them.

This is the 23rd lawsuit that attorney Thomas S. Neuberger has filed against the diocese and the second with a female complainant. In August, Mary Dougherty, 55, sued the diocese, saying she was sexually assaulted by the Rev. Leonard J. Mackiewicz, who died in 1994.

All of the lawsuits have been filed under the Delaware Child Victim's Act of 2007, which created a two-year window suspending the statute of limitations on civil suits seeking damages by childhood victims of sexual abuse until July 10, 2009.

Contact Ryan Cormier at 324-2863 or


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