Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Slapped with 23 Molestation Lawsuits


October 13, 2008

Wilmington, DE (AHN) - The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington is again under fire after it received two lawsuits in a span of seven days, one from a 57-year-old Delaware woman and another from a Colorado judge, involving alleged sexual abuse by the late Rev. Eugene Clarahan.

Lawyer Thomas S. Neuberger, representing the alleged sexual abuse victims by the Catholic clergy in Wilmington, already has 23 lawsuits filed against the Roman Catholic Church.

The woman, known in court papers as Jane Coe No. 1, filed a case last Friday at the New Castle County Superior Court. She alleged that Clarahan molested her three times in 1965 and 1966.

She was 14 and 15 years old then when she had sexual contact with the priest. The molestation happened in a barn on their family farm in southern Delaware.

Last October 3, Denver County Court magistrate judge Paul G. Quinn, 67, also filed a case against the diocese on the same sexual abuse claim. He alleged that Clarahan molested him in 1956 as a former parishioner at St. Elizabeth.

Quinn accounts that Clarahan was laughing as he was being sexually abused at the home of his maternal aunt. Priests frequently visited his aunt's home for social gatherings.

Clarahan retired from the priesthood in 1993 and passed away in 1999. He was included among the 20 priests in a 2006 sex abuse scandal involving the clergy that rocked the Catholic Church in Delaware.

The priests reportedly "corroborated or otherwise substantiated" claims of abuse lodged against them.

Neuberger cited the Delaware Child Victim's Act of 2007 in undertaking the lawsuits. The act created a two-year window deferring the restrictions on cases seeking compensation by sexual child abuse victims until July 10, 2009.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.