Fr. Paul E. Lavin – Archdiocese of Washington

| Jun 5, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Paul E. Lavin

Archdiocese of Washington

Ordained: 1969

Removed: 2002

Laicized: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • Encountering Christ Through Others – Youth retreat program (MD)
  • American University (Washington, DC)
  • Mother Seton Parish (Germantown, MD)
  • St. Joseph’s Church (Washington, DC)
  • Mount Calvary Parish (Forestville, MD)
  • Bishop McNamara High School (Forestville, MD)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Paul E. Lavin:

According to media reports, an allegation that Father Paul E. Lavin sexually abused an altar boy was first reported to the Archdiocese of Washington in 1997. He was placed on leave and evaluated. An internal investigation by the Archdiocese purportedly found no evidence to substantiate it and Father Lavin returned to ministry.

In July 2002, two more men reported sexual abuse by Lavin. One alleged victim said that, in 1970, Father Lavin took him to a Christian bookstore in Baltimore. On the drive home, the priest began talking about “young men’s underwear,” he said. Then, he said, Father Lavin reached over and unzipped the boy’s pants. “He just started massaging me. . . . It lasted maybe a half-hour, while he was driving,” the man said. “He was a friend of my brother’s, a friend of my mother’s. Who was I going to tell?”  The boy was 8 at the time.

According to the other alleged victim, at an overnight stay in 1973, Father Lavin asked for a hug, then pulled the boy into bed and started caressing him. “He wanted me to perform oral sex on him, and I did not. I could not. I was just frozen,” he said.

According to another alleged victim, he said Father Lavin sexually abused him on two weekend trips to Pennsylvania during the 1971-72 school year, when he was a 16-year-old student at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville and Lavin was the school’s chaplain.

On the ride home, the victim said, Father Lavin “undid my pants and started fondling me again. That probably lasted about half an hour. And when he finished, he said he was disappointed in me that I allowed him to do that.”

Father Lavin “absolutely, categorically” denied the allegations.

He was permanently removed from ministry and, in 2004, he was laicized.

In December 2006, at least one claim against Lavin was included in a $1.3 million settlement between the Archdiocese of Washington and 16 plaintiffs.

In October 2018, Father Lavin’s name appeared on the Archdiocese of Washington’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.

Lavin is believed to be residing in the Philadelphia area.  He is approximately 77 years old.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Washington.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Washington, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Washington now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.