Suit Links Friar, Diocese to Sex Abuse 30 Years Ago

By Beth Miller
News Journal
March 16, 2009

A 46-year-old Pennsylvania man today filed suit in Delaware Superior Court alleging that he was sexually abused by the Rev. Paul Daleo, a Capuchin friar, 30 years ago.

At the time, Daleo was a resident of the Capuchins' friary on Silverside Road.

In addition to Daleo, the suit names the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and the Capuchin Franciscan Friars Province of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis, the New Jersey-based religious order to which Daleo was a member.

In the suit, the plaintiff -- identified only as John Doe -- claims he was sexually abused from 1978 to 1979. His mother was a long-time diocesan employee who welcomed Daleo into family events, where the priest came into contact with the plaintiff, the suit says.

The suit alleges that the Capuchins and the Diocese knew of Daleo's abusive behavior but did nothing to stop it and allowed him to continue serving as a priest.

It is the second civil suit filed against Daleo and it was filed by attorney Thomas P. Conaty IV of Conaty, Curran & Sisk. Conaty is the brother of the first plaintiff to file against Daleo -- Matthias Conaty, an employee of The News Journal Co.

Joining Conaty in representing Doe is Minnesota attorney Jeffrey Anderson, who has filed thousands of clergy abuse cases nationally.

Diocese spokesman Robert G. Krebs declined to comment and Capuchin officials did not immediately return phone messages inviting comment.

The suit is filed under the provisions of Delaware's 2007 Child Victim's Act, which eliminated the civil statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases and opened a two-year period during which cases that otherwise would have been barred by the time limit could be filed.

That period ends in July.

Contact Beth Miller at 324-2784 or


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