Priest sex abuse

A priest in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has been removed from ministry and had his faculties to exercise priestly ministries suspended following allegations he sexually abused a teen 38 years ago. 

The victim made claims against Rev. William J. Porter, 71, while at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Castle. Delaware State Police began their investigation in March, but informed the diocese on July 19, 2019, that it had completed the investigation and the conduct had occurred outside the statute of limitations.  

The suspension by Bishop W. Francis Malooly was announced Thursday, July 25, 2019.  

The Diocese said it will continue to cooperate fully with all authorities during their investigations. This includes Delaware State Police and the Delaware Attorney General for the current case, and Wilmington Police, who are investigating Porter for "alleged similar misconduct."

Porter, ordained in 1975, has served as:

  • associate pastor at St. Elizabeth Parish, Wilmington from 1975 to 1977
  • Assistant Principal at St. Elizabeth High School from 1977 to 1978, 
  • associate pastor at St. Catherine of Siena, in Wilmington, from 1978 to 1979
  • faculty at Saint Mark’s High School in Wilmington from 1979 to 1982
  • faculty member at St. Elizabeth High School in Wilmington, Delaware from 1982 to 1991 
  • pastor at St. Luke/St. Andrew in Ocean City, Maryland from 1991 to 2003
  • pastor at Holy Name of Jesus in Pocomoke, Maryland since 2003 

"The Diocese of Wilmington is committed to protecting children and to providing support to survivors of sexual abuse," the diocese said in a statement. "We recognize the courage of those survivors who come forward to tell their stories after so many years."

Anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse is urged to contact local authorities, or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333. 

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