Father Richard Deakin
Diocese of Pittsburgh/Baltimore/Capuchins
- 1984-1987: St. Martin’s Parish (Baltimore, MD)
- 1987-1988: St. Cecilia Church and Friary (Rochester, PA)
- 1988: St. Frances Friary (Brookline, PA)
- 1989: Left Capuchin Order and married
- 1993: Dismissed from clerical state
Summary of Allegations Against Father Richard Deakin
Father Richard Deakin was ordained a Capuchin Friar in 1985, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Baltimore. According to media reports, he started fondling a 13-year-old girl in 1985 and continued to abuse her until 1987. Deakin admitted that by 1986, he was having intercourse with the victim five times per week. The Archbishop of Baltimore is alleged to have had evidence of the abuse, but he did nothing. Deakin was transferred to a parish in Pennsylvania in 1987. The Capuchin order officially dismissed Deakin in 1989 on reports that he had married a parishioner. Conflicting media reports claim that he left the priesthood in 1988, married, and became a furniture salesman.
In 1990, Father Richard Deakin was arrested and convicted on child abuse and rape charges in Baltimore for second-degree rape and sexual abuse of a child. Deakin received a 20-year suspended sentence and a 15-year suspended sentence, respectively, on each charge, to run concurrently, and five years of probation. He admitted to his crimes and apologized to the victim and to the church. An out-of-court financial settlement was reached in 1993 for the civil case between the victim and the defendants filed in 1992.
In 1992, the victim sued the Archdiocese and Capuchins, and the suit was ultimately settled for $2.7 million. As part of the lawsuit, the Archdiocese requested that the victim’s name be made public, but this motion was denied by the court. In defense of the lawsuit, the defendants maintained that the victim was guilty of contributory negligence because she did not report the abuse to either Deakin’s superiors or the police. Through discovery, it was revealed that the archdiocese and Capuchins were aware of additional sexual misconduct by Deakin. Specifically, in 1987, Deakin was summoned to the police department after a woman reported that he had sexually harassed her from his car on the street. Specifically, he said, “Hey babe, you got a nice ass. I have a nice dick.” He then circled the block and said, “How are you doing, babe?” She replied that he was perverted, and he left. She reported him to the police. According to a deposition of the woman, she said she did not press charges after someone in authority of the church contacted her and assured her that Deakin would get help. Deakin admitted to the police that he had a problem with this kind of behavior as regularly as twice a week over the past year.
The incident was discussed between Archbishop Borders and Rev. Francis Fugini, Provincial Minister of the Capuchin Order, in an exchange of letters in February and March 1987. In the letters, Borders requested an evaluation of Deakin’s background and explained that his position is if Deakin has no prior history and if he remains in therapy, he will be permitted to continue to have archdiocesan faculties and to remain at St. Martin’s. In the summer of 1988, Deakin became involved with a parishioner from St. Cecilia’s in Pittsburgh, whom he later married. Though reports indicate that Deakin was dismissed from the priesthood in 1989, it appears that a dispensation from Deakin’s “sacerdotal celibacy” was granted on January 8, 1993.
According to media reports, after serving his sentence, Deakin earned a social worker’s license. As of 2015, he was working with homeless veterans at the Veterans Administration. He was named publicly as accused in a priest profile in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. In 2002, Fr. Deakin was listed on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors list. In April 2023, Maryland’s Attorney General released a report alleging 156 Catholic clergy members sexually abused at least 600 children over six decades. The report lists the names of the abusers, including Fr. Deakin.
Deakin is still living and is believed to be residing in the Ambridge, Pennsylvania, area.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.