A Dominican nun in Massachusetts has been placed on leave following an accusation of sexual misconduct with a fifth-grade girl in an Indiana classroom 40 years ago, said a spokeswoman for her order.
The complaint against Sister Ann Daylor, 67, director of religious education at St. Mary’s Church in Georgetown, Mass., was made to the Indianapolis Archdiocese on Oct. 30.
Sister Norah Guy, the eastern regional coordinator for the Dominicans of St. Catharine, Ky., said the alleged victim, now believed to be in her 50s, told the chancellor of the archdiocese that the incident occurred after school in a classroom at the Sacred Heart Elementary School in Jeffersonville, Ind.
The woman who made the complaint reported that Daylor misbehaved only once, Guy said, adding that she was uncertain what allegedly happened.
“It was reported to us that Sister Ann’s behavior was interpreted as having sexual overtones,” Guy told The Boston Globe in an interview Wednesday.
Guy, who said the order confirmed that the alleged victim was a fifth-grade student of Daylor’s during the 1961-62 school year, said the victim has no interest in taking legal action.
Daylor denied the allegation when Guy and Sister Joye Gros, the order’s president, met with Daylor last week, the coordinator said.
Under the order’s decade-old policy governing sexual abuse allegations, Guy said, Daylor was placed on administrative leave until the order completes its investigation.
Susan Borcherts, spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Archdiocese, said the incident also was reported to civil authorities, as well as Daylor’s order.
Borcherts said she could not make public any details of the allegation.
The Rev. James M. Carroll, the pastor of St. Mary’s, where Daylor has been assigned since 1994, said parishioners had not been told about the allegation. In addition to supervising religious education for 650 children, Carroll said, Daylor also was his principal assistant in the one-priest parish.
Daylor could not be reached for comment Wednesday, the Globe said.
Since her return to Massachusetts in 1968, she has been assigned to St. Patrick’s in Lynn, St. Joseph’s in Belmont, Sacred Heart in Lowell, Sacred Heart in Haverhill and the Georgetown parish.
Guy said the allegation is the first against a nun of her order, which is one of several different orders of Dominican nuns. It has about 350 nuns, with 83 of those serving in Massachusetts.