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Jury Faults Delaware Parish in Repressed Memory Case

Francis DeLuca admitted that he sexually abused John Vai (and others)

Yesterday, a jury in Dover, Delaware found that St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic parish was grossly negligent in its failure to properly supervise then-priest Francis DeLuca and is responsible for $3 million of $30 million in damages awarded to John M. Vai, who repeatedly was molested as a teenager in the 1960s.

According to the Wilmington News Journal, the jury found that Vai only became aware of the sexual abuse he suffered as a child in 2007 after reading an article about a different priest sex abuse case brought against DeLuca. As an earlier story about Mr. Vai’s testimony explains, “Vai testified that he repressed the memories of abuse until he read about a lawsuit filed by Robert Quill in 2007 charging that DeLuca molested him. Quill was younger than Vai but lived in his neighborhood and walked to school with him. Vai said the story caused him to explode with emotions, the memories came flooding back and he was filled with guilt and shame that he had not spoken up in 1966.”

Since the recovered memory of sexual abuse in this case is corroborated by DeLuca’s confession, there is no question that his memory was true. So, will the False Memory Syndrome Foundation express condemnation of the perpetrator and those who covered up for him? Or will they side with the perpetrator because they are unwilling to recognize even the most corroborated cases of recovered memory? Or will this be another one of the multitude of cases on this site that the FMSF never acknowledges?


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