Fr. Douglas Dempster – Archdiocese of Baltimore

by | Jul 12, 2023 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Fr. Douglas Dempster

Archdiocese of Baltimore/Wilmington

Douglas Dempster Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1962

Removed: 1993

Assignment History:

  • 1962: St. John the Beloved Church (Milltown, MD)
  • Immaculate Conception parish

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Douglas Dempster

Fr. Douglas Dempster was a Catholic priest that worked in the Diocese of Wilmington. Fr. Dempster’s name appears 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. Douglas Dempster.

According to the Archdiocese’s list, in 2000, the Archdiocese of Baltimore received correspondence from the Diocese of Wilmington stating that Father Douglas Dempster retired from active ministry in 1993 and was not permitted to function publicly as a priest. The Archdiocese discovered that Dempster had celebrated mass at St. Alphonsus in Baltimore in or around 2000 and immediately informed Dempster that he was to cease doing so.

According to Bishop Accountability, in 2006, a man reported that he was abused by Fr. Dempster when he was an altar boy at  St. John the Beloved Church in Wilmington, Delaware, in the 1960s when he was nine years old. The victim alleged that the abuse began one night when Dempster came to their house for dinner and offered to tuck the boy into bed. Dempster started to rub his back. Then his hands moved to the boy’s genitals. The sexual abuse continued and intensified with other forms of sexual assault for about seven years until he was 17. The victim told church officials he had a tape recording of Dempster talking about their sexual activity in a phone call. He says he met with church negotiators, turned over the tape, and signed a confidentiality agreement. In exchange, he got a check for $100,000.

In the late 1960s, Dempster was given the responsibility of investigating allegations against his close friend, Rev. Frank DeLuca. He told the reporting family to never speak of the matter again; the family thus thought the church was taking care of the matter.

Dempster was removed from ministry in 1993, and the claim was settled. Dempster was last known to be living in MD. Dempster was never charged due to the statute of limitations, but the victim came forward to protect his community.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Maryland, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse nationwide. We can help. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.