Jury finds Del. parish liable for priest abuse

DOVER, Del. - December 1, 2010

The jury ruled Wednesday that St. Elizabeth's parish was negligent in not preventing Francis DeLuca from sexually abusing John Vai.

The jury levied $30 million in compensatory damages for Vai against DeLuca and another $3 million in compensatory damages against St. Elizabeth's. A hearing to consider punitive damages against the parish and DeLuca begins Monday.

The 80-year-old DeLuca was defrocked in 2008 after serving 60 days in a New York jail for repeatedly molesting his 18-year-old grandnephew. Vai's lawsuit is expected to be the first in a series by DeLuca's alleged victims to go to trial.

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