Stratton Faxon, Connecticut’s Firm for Trial Law, has recently settled a lawsuit against a one-time priest and filed suit against a former priest for molesting teenaged boys.
It happened at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in North Branford. Daniel McSheffrey, a priest in that parish, began orally and anally raping a teenaged boy. So long ago, in 1986, the events began, but 22 years later, in November 2008, Stratton Faxon, Connecticut’s Firm for Trial Law, obtained a $785,000 settlement on behalf of the once-young victim. Justice delayed, but not denied.
It was not a one-time encounter for the boy with the predator priest. The abuse is alleged to have occurred for several years. “It was a sad series of events,” said the plaintiff’s New Haven lawyer, Joel T. Faxon, “very regrettable.” McSheffrey had been the subject of numerous lawsuits against the archdiocese during the past several years. A previous settlement obtained by Stratton Faxon against McSheffrey, who lives in Florida and no longer functions as a priest, was settled for $1.6 million.
In a different lawsuit brought by Stratton Faxon, the defendant is John Castaldo, defrocked former pastor at St. Theresa’s Church in the Bridgeport Diocese. In some respects, this series of crimes seems especially horrific. As stated in the complaint, and alleged by the plaintiff’s attorney, Joel T. Faxon, David Doe was sexually molested by the priest, who repeatedly forced him to perform oral sex, and also, under extreme threat and intimidation, attacked Doe for purposes of his own deviant sexual gratification. In connection with these episodes, Castaldo would assault and physically injure the young minor. As a result of these events, Doe suffered severe emotional and bodily pain.
These events were exacerbated, according to the complaint, because Castaldo’s superiors in the Catholic Bridgeport Diocese knew about the priest’s “bizarre sexual proclivities” and not only did nothing about it, but proceeded to hire and promote Castaldo as “fully fit” to carry out his duties in the Catholic Church, including those involving children.
“We are appalled that the diocese, and in particular that Edward Cardinal Egan, who currently serves as archbishop, would permit continued assignment of a priest known to be a serious risk to children and a sexual deviant,” said Attorney Joel Faxon.