A priest who appeared in The Exorcist has been accused of allegedly grooming and sexually abusing a student at the Jesuit high school where he taught.
William O’Malley, who plays Father Dyer in the 1973 horror film, is one of several people named in a lawsuit filed as part of the Child Victims Act, which enables New Yorkers who were allegedly abused as children to file civil cases with no time or age limit for one year.
According to court papers obtained by The Independent, O’Malley allegedly “used his position as a priest” to “groom and to sexually abuse” a student at McQuaid Jesuit High School.
The plaintiff, who has remained anonymous, was approximately 17 years old when the alleged abuse occurred, the lawsuit claims.
It also alleges that O’Malley, now 87, sexually abused the student “multiple times” from approximately 1985 to 1986.
The Diocese of Rochester and McQuaid Jesuit High School are both named among several defendants in the suit. O’Malley’s name appears among numerous others in the complaint.
McQuaid told The Independent in a statement that it expects to receive claims as the Child Victims Act goes into effect.
"It is our sincere hope that this will be a time of healing for our brothers," the school said in a statement, although it declined to comment on specific claims.
One of the lawyers listed on the lawsuit confirmed that the priest named in the complaint was the same as the one whose name appears in the credits of the horror film.
He appeared in the news in 2012 after reportedly being dismissed from his teaching role at Fordham Prep, another Jesuit school, for his “abrasive” teaching style, the New York Post reported at the time.
Hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits have been filed in New York courts after the one-year window set by the Child Victims Act opened on Wednesday.