Philadelphia Archdiocese Settles $3.5 Million Sex Abuse Suit Involving 14 Year-Old Boy

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will pay $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that one of its priests sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy in Delaware County nearly two decades ago.

Filed in 2020, the lawsuit alleges that Pastor John Close raped the boy at St. Katharine’s of Siena in Wayne in 2006. The plaintiff, whose name was withheld in court filings, was attending a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine program there, and Close was the head of the parish.

During a class, the boy became upset, fearing eternal damnation. He was sent to Close’s office, the pastor took his confession, and then raped him, according to the lawsuit. Afterward, the lawsuit says, Close told the boy that he was absolved of his sins, but he would be eternally damned if he told anyone about the assault.

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