Diocese of Savannah faces lawsuit for covering up priest’s child sex abuse allegations

Crime & Safety

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A lawsuit has been filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah and its current bishop, claiming the church knew a priest was allegedly molesting children and agreed to cover up his actions.

Filed last week by Tate Law Group, LLC, on behalf of a Chatham County resident (whose name WSAV will not disclose at this time), the lawsuit accuses the church of conspiracy and fraud in its handling of allegations against Wayland Brown.

FILE – Wayland Brown appears in court in 2018

Brown died in prison last year while serving his 20-year sentence for sexually abusing two boys in the early 1980s when he was a priest in the Diocese of Savannah, assigned to St. James School.

The lawsuit alleges Brown had multiple sexual encounters with the complainant, who was 13, between 1987 and 1988.

The diocese was allegedly informed by law enforcement in 1986 that Brown was molesting children.

“Despite this knowledge, the diocese placed Brown at St. James School, did not advise any parents or teachers that the diocese decided to unleash a known rapist on their students,” the lawsuit adds.

According to the Associated Press, a diocese spokesperson said they had not yet received the lawsuit.

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