Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Aug 10, 2023 / 15:21 pm
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia agreed to a $3.5 million settlement with a man who accused a now-deceased priest of raping him about 17 years ago and alleged that the archdiocese failed to take action when previously informed of separately alleged abuse.
The lawsuit alleged that Monsignor John Close, who was ordained in 1969, sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy in 2006 when he took classes at St. Katherine of Siena Parish in Wayne, which is within the archdiocese. The lawyers claimed that Close sexually abused the teenager after hearing his confession and warned him not to report the abuse.
Although the man, who is now 30 years old, first opened up about the alleged abuse in 2018, his lawyers argued that the archdiocese failed to take proper action in response to previous allegations, which could have prevented his assault. In the 1990s, a different man accused the priest of sexual abuse allegedly occurring in 1969, but the archdiocese could not substantiate the claims.
In 2011, Close was placed on administrative leave while the archdiocese investigated a second allegation against him, which alleged he abused another boy in the early 1990s. The archdiocese could not substantiate the allegations and Close ultimately returned to ministry before retiring in 2012.