New complaints further reinforce sexual abuse was part of a school environment of misconduct cultivated over decades
(Morristown, NJ) – Three new lawsuits filed today against Delbarton School, the Order of Saint Benedict New Jersey (OSBNJ), and the Archdiocese of Newark reveal that the occurrences of child sexual abuse at the prestigious Delbarton School were not isolated incidents by a small number of perpetrators. Beyond the abuse detailed in the complaints, the plaintiffs’ allegations show that Delbarton administrators were complicit in tolerating and cultivating a decades-spanning environment of grooming in which the lines between appropriate and inappropriate staff conduct with students were systemically blurred.
“There has yet to be any showing of accountability whatsoever by this institution,” said attorney Greg Gianforcaro who, with attorneys from the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates, represents the three courageous survivors bringing the complaints. “Despite the existence of so many claims of child sexual abuse by so many of their clerics, there has never been any independent investigation conducted. Ongoing abuse at Delbarton was possible, in large part, because the school and the clerics in charge were more concerned about the reputation of their institutions than the protection of their students.”
The complaints filed today under the New Jersey Sexual Abuse Act name Father Donal R. Fox, Father Luke Travers and Father Timothy Brennan as perpetrators of child sexual abuse while the plaintiffs were students at Delbarton School. Fathers Fox, Travers and Brennan have been named previously in cases filed by Gianforcaro and Anderson’s firms against Delbarton, the OSBNJ and the Archdiocese (July 7, Oct 8, and Oct 22). A fourth perpetrator of the OSBNJ, Father Kevin Bray, was also named as an abuser in the complaints, though not in direct connection with the school.
“For so many years, our parents have entrusted St. Mary’s Abbey to nurture, educate and protect the students of Delbarton. This trust has been betrayed again and again by the systemic cycle of abuse which was allowed to fester at Delbarton School,” said plaintiff Bernard Murphy in a statement issued Wednesday. “This betrayal feels to me as if it just happened yesterday because it impacts the entire scope of a victim’s life. We, the victims of abuse must hold Delbarton fully accountable to the many abuses which have taken place over the years.”
Allegations of abuse at Delbarton School date back at least 12 years. In 2008, Gianforcaro brought the first of 16 complaints that would be filed against the school and the OSBNJ over the following decade. As of today, Gianforcaro Law and Jeff Anderson & Associates have filed a total of 18 new complaints against the school and the OSBNJ.
“These brave survivors filing today are doing the work of shining a light on this haven for predators – work Delbarton should have been doing for decades,” said attorney Jeff Anderson of Jeff Anderson & Associates. “It’s time for leadership at Delbarton School, the Order of Saint Benedict, and the Archdiocese of Newark to disclose the identities and crimes of all known perpetrators – past and present.”
Plaintiff Bernard Murphy is available for comment. Please contact attorney Greg Gianforcaro to coordinate interviews.