Fr. James Vallely – Diocese of Portland

Father James Vallely

Diocese of Portland

James Vallely Diocese of Portland Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1949

Privileges removed: 1993

Died: 1997

Assigned as follows:

  • 1949-1951: St. Rose (Portland, OR)
  • 1951-1953: St. Joseph (Waterville, ME)
  • 1953: St. Mary (Bangor, ME)
  • 1953-1956: St. John (Bangor, ME)
  • 1953-1956: Bangor State Hospital (Bangor, MA)
  • 1956-1967: St. Dominic (Portland, MA)
  • 1956-1967: St. Elizabeth’s Orphanage (Portland, ME)
  • 1967-1968: St. Louis (Limestone, ME)
  • 1968-1974: Holy Name of Jesus (Macias, ME)
  • 1968-1972: Our Lady of Wisdom (Whitneyville, ME)
  • 1968-1974: St. Michael (Cherryfield, ME)
  • 1974-1988: St. Michael (South Berwick, ME)
  • St. Stephen (Winter Springs, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. James Vallely:

Fr. James Vallely was ordained in 1949 in Portland, OR. He moved to Portland, ME in 1951 and was indoctrinated to the Diocese of Portland in 1952. According to media reports, between January and March of 1993, the Diocese of Portland received five allegations of sexual abuse against Fr. Vallely. The first victim to come forward alleges that Vallely abused him on a weekly basis for four years beginning in the late 1950’s when he was a nine-year old altar boy at St. Dominic. The alleged abuse occurred in the church and the rectory and at a camp on a lake.

The other four alleged victims were between 9-12 when the abuse began. Two were altar boys at St. Dominic, and one was an altar boy at St. John. The alleged abuse included fondling, hugging, and masturbation. The incidents occurred in church sacristies, in automobiles, and at a church run camp. After these allegations surfaced, Fr. Vallely was sent to outpatient treatment in Florida, and his privileges were removed.

According to media reports, in 1994, a woman told the pastor at St. Michael in South Berwick that Fr. Vallely sexually abused her in 1976 when she was an 11-year-old altar server at the church. The pastor told her forgive Vallely and move on with her life. The Diocese of Portland made a $200,000 settlement with the woman in 2009.

Two brothers reportedly sued the Diocese of Portland in 2013 for alleged abuse they suffered from Fr. Vallely in 1976-1979 when they were altar servers at St. Michael in South Berwick. The brothers were 10 and 11 years-old when the alleged abuse began.

In 2016, six men alleging child sexual abuse between 1956-1977 against Fr. Vallely sued the Diocese of Portland in six separate suits. The alleged victims were altar boys between the ages of 8-15 years old at the time of the abuse. The suits claimed that the Diocese of Portland had knowledge of multiple allegations of child sexual abuse against Fr. Vallely for decades but chose to conceal it. The case settled in 2016 for $1.2 million.

Fr. Vallely died in 1997.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Portland in Maine. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Maine, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Portland now have legal options, but filing deadlines may apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Maine and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.