Fr. Neil Doherty – Archdiocese of Miami

| Jan 8, 2021 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Neil (Gus) Doherty

Archdiocese of Miami

Ordained: 1969

Administrative leave: 2002

Retired: 2004

Arrested: 2006

Assignment History:

  • 1969-1970: St. Bartholomew’s (Miramar, FL)
  • Unknown: Catholic Family Service (Miami, FL)
  • 1970-1972: St. Francis of Assisi (Riviera Beach, FL)
  • 1972-1973: Sacred Heart (Lake Worth, FL)
  • 1973-1978: St. Anthony’s (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
  • 1979-1982: St. Matthew’s (Hallandale, FL)
  • 1982-1985: St. Philip’s (Opa Locka, FL)
  • 1982-1985: Archdiocesan Professional Groups (Miami, FL)
  • 1984-1988: Archdiocesan Vocations (Miami, FL)
  • 1985-1986: St. Mary’s Cathedral (Miami, FL)
  • 1985-1998: Archdiocesan Vocations Board (Miami, FL)
  • 1986-1988: St. Bartholomew’s (Miramar, FL)
  • 1988-1990: Holy Redeemer (Miami, FL)
  • 1991-2002: St. Vincent’s (Margate, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Neil Doherty:

Fr. Neil Doherty, also known as Gus, was ordained in 1969. He was a priest for over three decades in the Archdiocese of Miami.

Doherty has been accused of child sex abuse and the allegations span throughout his entire career as a priest. According to media reports, he had similar methods when abusing the minors. Doherty would drug the boys and some of them would wake up to him abusing them.

There were several warnings about Doherty beginning in 1972 when a fellow priest reported that Doherty adopted a young boy and he was sleeping in Doherty’s bedroom. In addition, there were reports in reference to the sexual abuse of boys made in 1983 and 1987 by psychologists and the church secretary. Ironically, the church secretary was fired.

Throughout the Years

In 1979, Doherty was accused of supplying drugs to then sexually abusing an 18-year-old male patient of the South Florida Mental Health Hospital.

In 1992, the Archdiocese of Miami received a report from a family in which they stated that Doherty sexually abused their 17-year-old son back in 1978 at Catholic Family Services in Miami, Florida. There was a $50K settlement made with the family in 1994.

In 1992, Doherty was sent for a psychological evaluation and although his superiors were told that he should be removed, he remained as a priest. As soon as media sources were informed and there were headlines about the sexual abuse, Doherty was placed on administrative leave.

According to media reports, another accuser reported that he met Doherty when he was 7 years old and that the priest would have him do “private confessions” with him almost every day. He said Doherty would give him a soda that made him pass out, and that Doherty would then sexually assault him. He said the abuse went on for several years, until March 2000.

In 2003, Doherty was accused in a lawsuit of having drugged and raped a 12-year-old boy in the late 1970s at St. Anthony’s in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The abuse is said to have occurred at Doherty’s mother’s home, a hotel room, and an apartment behind a parishioner’s house.

In 2006, Doherty was arrested and charged with child sexual abuse for drugging and raping a boy between 1996-2000, beginning when the boy was 9 years old. The boy was receiving counseling at Catholic Family Services in Miami, Florida, but then was sexually abused at Doherty’s mother’s home after he was given drugs and alcohol.

Doherty was arrested in 2006.

In 2007, a man accused Doherty of having sexually abused him at St. Anthony’s in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in the mid-1970s when he was just 12 years old. That same year another survivor filed suit alleging Doherty sexually abused him in 1999 when the man was 14 years old. He said the abuse took place in Doherty’s car and in St. Vincent’s rectory in Margate, Florida.

In 2011, a man received a settlement from the archdiocese, having claimed that Doherty sexually abused him when the man was 14 years old, in 1986. By November of 2011, 26 men had come forward with accusations that Doherty drugged and sexually abused them as children.

In 2012, Doherty was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy over an 18-month period, beginning in 1984. According to media reports, Doherty is said to have plied the boy with drugs, alcohol, and money. He is said to have been a troubled boy who met Doherty at a trailer park.

In 2013, Doherty pleaded no contest to the charges of lewd and lascivious acts on a child. He was then sentenced to 15 years in prison but was to serve 12 years due to time already served.

In 2020, there were new allegations that emerged during the FL Attorney General’s investigation report.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Miami in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.