Wave of 32 Lawsuits Reinforces a Decades-Long Culture of Sexual Abuse Cover-Up at Delbarton School
(Morristown, NJ) – Today, partnered with Greg Gianforcaro, we filed a lawsuit against the prestigious Delbarton School (Morristown, NJ) operated by the Order of Saint Benedict New Jersey (OSBNJ), St. Mary’s Abbey. The lawsuit alleges that the survivor was abused by Fr. Jude Salus, O.S.B. in approximately 1993 or 1994 when the survivor was approximately 14 years old. Salus is believed to be currently residing at St. Mary’s Abbey where Delbarton School is located. Currently, our firms have filed a total of 32 lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse against Delbarton School, identifying 12 alleged perpetrators.
The survivor has chosen to file anonymously as a Doe and is able to take action now as a result of the New Jersey Victims’ Rights Bill, which gives survivors until November 30, 2021 to file a claim.
Statement of Survivor JA/GG DOE 304
In recent years, I have learned of various similar abuses that took place at Delbarton, before, during and after my years there, and every time I hear of these instances, it reopens that deep wound from so many years ago, and brings back all the pain and anger and sadness that has haunted me for years.
I used to ask myself all the time, “why me?” I didn’t get it. I was the good kid; quiet, shy, obedient. It took me a long time to realize that that’s exactly “why me.” Father Jude probably assumed that I would never come forward about what happened that day, and for nearly 3 decades, he was right.
But I will no longer stay silent about this incident. Not just for my own sake; I know what’s done is done and whatever closure I may receive won’t change the past, but for the sake of all the other innocent kids out there who deserve to be protected from predators, and for all the other victims of assault who, like myself, are hesitant to speak out against well-respected people and institutions they once trusted, who took advantage of them in the most vile of ways. I believe Father Jude Salus is a predator, and I believe Delbarton protected him as they protected so many others, and I hope they will be held accountable for their actions.
“We applaud the courage of this survivor and all victims who suffered abuse at Delbarton,” said attorney Greg Gianforcaro. “We know the number of lawsuits is only a fraction of the survivors that are out there. Survivors out there should know that we can help them find their voice and reclaim their power before it’s too late.”
“We are deeply grateful for the courage of all survivors who have come forward under the New Jersey Victims Rights’ Bill,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “There is still time for survivors to take legal action, but that window is rapidly closing.”
Survivors of child and adult sexual abuse in New Jersey have limited time to take legal action. All claims under the New Jersey Victims’ Rights Bill must be filed by November 30, 2021.