November 17, 2005

Navy doctor sues church officials, claiming sexual abuse



By RANDALL CHASE / Associated Press

A Navy doctor filed a federal lawsuit Thursday alleging that he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest as a teenager, and that church officials did nothing to protect him.

Lt. Commander Kenneth Whitwell, 37, claims he was abused for several years by the Rev. Edward J. Smith while attending Archmere Academy, a Catholic high school in Claymont.

Whitwell alleges that Smith, who now works at a Norbertine Order priory in Middletown, began molesting him in 1982, when he was a 14-year-old freshman and Smith was his religion teacher.

According to the lawsuit, Smith had been removed from his job as principal at St. John Neumann High School in Philadelphia two years earlier amid allegations of sexually abusing children and was "hidden" by church officials in Maryland before being transferred to Delaware.

Posted by kshaw at November 17, 2005 09:33 PM