SURVIVOR OF CLERGY ABUSE FILES LAWSUIT VERSUS THE OBLATES IN MAINE
Updated: Feb 15
Attorneys Ashley Pileika of the Law Office of Darren Wolf, P.C. and Alexis Chardon of Garmey Law represent Plaintiff “Jane Doe” in a civil lawsuit against the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (“the Oblates”), a religious order under the Roman Catholic Church.
Jane Doe was 4 years old in the 1950s when her mother left her and her siblings in the care of an orphanage run by the Grey Nuns. Her mother was training to become a nun but was unable to care for her children. Doe's grandparents took in the children in the 1960s, but she stayed behind and grew up mostly at her grandmother’s house, attending private school, taking piano and violin lessons, and still going to church.
Doe did not realize she had lived in an orphanage until she was much older. Her mother had told the children they were going to a boarding school, which was a common scenario at the time for parents who could not care for their children and turned to institutions overseen by
religious orders for support.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Oblates owned several large homes in Maine, where seminarians stayed on retreat, and worked closely with nuns from other religious orders who ran orphanages and schools in the area. Doe was abused on at least 10 different occasions during trips to Maine. In Bar Harbor, where she described the Oblates’ home as grandiose and looking like a castle, she was raped by the Rev. Arthur Craig and handed off to be abused by several other men.
Sadly, Jane Doe’s story is not unique; her case sheds light on the traumatic experiences of survivors of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church and the importance of allowing them to seek justice on their own terms.
“She’s very cognizant that there are others out there,” said Pileika. “For so long, she wasn’t able to connect to others this happened to – I think knowing there are others has been important and part of her healing journey.”
Pileika has represented other clients with anonymous claims of sexual abuse against the Oblates.
If you or someone you know has experienced abuse under similar circumstances, our office is available to speak with you further to seek justice and compensation on your behalf. Please contact us today at (214) 346-5355.