Leto Copeley, along with Seth Langson of Charlotte, filed suit today in Mecklenburg County Superior Court against the Charlotte Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, on behalf of John Doe 1K and John Doe 2K, on grounds that they were sexually abused as children by Father Joseph Kelleher. The suit states claims of constructive fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent hiring, supervision, and retention, and infliction of emotional distress.
The suit alleges that John Doe 1K was abused at Our Lady of the Annunciation in Albemarle when he was 14 and that John Doe 2K was abused when he was 13 at Our Lady of the Assumption in Charlotte. The plaintiffs contend that the Charlotte Diocese has concealed sex crimes by clergy since the Diocese was founded and that such cover-ups continue even now. The suit states that the Diocese knew or should have known since at least the 1970s that Kelleher was abusing minors.
Kelleher served at Catholic churches in Waynesville, Albemarle, Asheville, Charlotte, Hendersonville, Lexington, Lincolnton, Greenville, High Point, Raleigh, and Asheboro. He also taught at Bishop McGuinness High School in Kernersville.