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Were You Sexually Abused by Father Donald Dimitroff at a Catholic High School or College in the Archdiocese of Baltimore?

Perpetrators

How Did the Abusive Acts of Father Donald Dimitroff Come to Light?

In April 2023, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office released its shocking Report on Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The report detailed abuse allegations against 156 members of the clergy within the Archdiocese of Baltimore across multiple decades. The report illustrates a disturbing pattern of Church officials being made aware of serious allegations against clergy members, only to cover them up and allow the accused individual to continue serving within the Church. The mishandling of claims and investigations by the Archdiocese over the years placed untold numbers of innocent children within the reach of known predators, often with tragic results.

Father Donald Dimitroff’s abusive actions would likely have never been public knowledge if not for the AG’s report. Despite a personal admission to officials that he had engaged in the abuse of a minor, he was still allowed to continue his teaching career and was given a residence on the grounds of a Baltimore Catholic High School. The Archdiocese’s inexcusable disregard for the well-being of the minors within their care and their emphasis on dismissing or burying the claims of victims to protect the Church’s image has discouraged many childhood sexual abuse survivors from speaking up.

However, seeking justice for the wrongs you endured can be a vital part of the healing process for you and your loved ones. The experienced religious institution sexual abuse lawyers at Andreozzi + Foote can help your voice be heard. If you were sexually abused by Father Dimitroff or another faculty member at a Catholic high school or college, contact our law firm for confidential information on your legal rights and options.

Who is Father Dimitroff, and Where Was He Employed?

Father Donald Dimitroff was a member of the Christian Brothers, a congregation of Catholic laymen committed to teaching youth. As such, he spent his time in the Archdiocese of Baltimore as a high school and college teacher. He was born in 1953, and the details of his early employment history and ordination are not detailed in the AG’s report. However, his known assignments are as follows:

  • Teacher at Bishop Walsh High School, Cumberland, Maryland (1981-1983)
  • Teacher at St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, Maryland (1990s)
  • Lived at Calvert Hall High School, Towson, Maryland (1991-2002)
  • Faculty at Loyola College, Baltimore, Maryland (2002)
  • Faculty at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Maryland (2010)

What Are the Accusations Against Father Dimitroff?

In 1997, a young man came forward to accuse Dimitroff of a long-term sexually abusive relationship. The abuse began in the early 1980s when the victim was a minor student at Bishop Walsh High School and continued until April 1997. Dimitroff did not deny his relationship with the individual when confronted with the accusation. However, he claimed that he believed the victim was 18 at the time the relationship began.

The Christian Brothers did refer the case to the States Attorney’s Office for Allegany County. However, the case was closed without charges being filed after the victim failed to respond to police inquiries. The Archdiocese was informed of the accusations in 1997. The information included in the letter stated the Provincial’s belief that the victim was likely a minor at the start of the relationship.

However, the letter avoided calling the acts child abuse and instead termed them a “violation of boundaries.” The Provincial further downplayed the severity of the abuse by claiming Dimitroff had assured him there were no other inappropriate relationships in his history. He also stated his relief that the matter could be settled out of court and would not become public.

What Ramifications Did Father Dimitroff Face Following His Admission?

Disturbingly, there were no significant consequences for Father Dimitroff for his actions. He was never formally charged, and the AG’s report makes no mention of a settlement between the victim and the Archdiocese. In fact, despite his admission that he had a sexual relationship with a minor student, Dimitroff was allowed to continue living in the Christian Brothers’ residence on the campus of Calvert Hall High School until 2002. In 2002, he was listed as credibly accused by the Archdiocese. However, he still managed to secure two further teaching positions: one at Loyola College in 2002 and the other at the University of Maryland in 2010.

What Does the Report Say About Calvert Hall High School?

Calvert Hall High School is mentioned over 90 times in the Attorney General’s report. Many former students from the 1950s up through the 1990s reported abuse from various members of the faculty. One pastor, Father Jerome “Jeff” Toohey, who served at the school until 1993, was convicted in 2005 of sexual abuse of a student, and the Church settled multiple claims with other victims. With further insight into the history of Calvert Hall appearing to be a landing place of sorts for accused abusers within the Archdiocese, it may be unsurprising that Father Dimitroff was allowed to remain there despite his admissions.

How Can Our Law Firm Assist You?

Teachers, professors, and members of the clergy all have positions of power over their students or parishioners. Whether Father Dimitroff believed his student was 18 at the time he began a sexual relationship with him is immaterial. The act was still sexual abuse of a minor and was illegal. Experiencing abuse as a child or teenager can be profoundly traumatizing and lead to a lifetime of challenges for a victim.

If you were molested by Father Dimitroff or another faculty member of a Catholic high school or college, you deserve to pursue justice for the harm you experienced. Contact the compassionate legal team at Andreozzi + Foote today at 866-311-8640 for a free case evaluation to learn about your potential next steps.

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