Father Philip Derea, who is widely known as the ‘Race Track Reverend’ thanks to his close association with the Indianapolis 500 and the Indy Racing League Ministry, has been publicly accused of sexual abuse. The allegations stem from several sexual abuse acts that allegedly occurred more than three decades ago in the District of Columbia. Derea has served as a priest for more than 49 years and is reportedly a member in good standing with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. The accused was the ABC news Person of the Week in 1996 and officiated the wedding of Ashley Judd and race car driver Dario Franchitti. He is now a resident of suburban Chicago, IL.
The sexual abuse victim has revealed that after he contacted Derea regarding the allegations, the priest wrote him an e-mail response apologizing for the abuse and offering the victim sums of money if he would drop any legal claims. In response to the allegations the victims’ rights group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests issued a statement condemning church officials for their failure to publicly remove the accused priest. The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart was reportedly contacted regarding the sexual abuse allegations but would not issue a statement.
The Klest Law Firm has over twenty nine years of experience handling Illinois personal injury cases, including sexual abuse claims. In fact, founding attorney Joseph Klest once deposed the accused Father Philip Derea relative to another sexual abuse case against the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. To speak with Chicago sexual abuse attorney Joseph Klest, please click here.