In lawsuit, man alleges sex abuse at St. Edmond’s Academy
WILMINGTON — Kermit Justice Jr. — son of the state’s former secretary of transportation and New Castle County’s former county executive — filed suit Wednesday in Superior Court against St. Edmond’s Academy, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, the religious order known as Brothers of the Holy Cross of the Eastern Province, and a former lay teacher at the school, John James Fleming.
In the suit, Justice, now 39, says he was sexually abused by Fleming in the early 1980s while he was a student at the school. Fleming was a teacher and wrestling coach from 1981 to January 1984. Fleming pleaded guilty in 1985 to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy — not a student at the school — during a five-month period in 1984. Prosecutors at the time criticized the school for allowing Fleming to resign with a “glowing letter of recommendation” despite reports of molestation by two students. The suit was filed under the provisions of the 2007 Child Victim’s Act, which eliminated the civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse and opened a two-year window during which previously time-barred claims could be made. That period ends in July 2009.