Sins of the Fathers > Sins > TOC > O'Leary Dolan Affidavit

Created 2023.1.10
Last Updated 2023.3.14

I, Chris O’Leary, swear and affirm that the information given in this affidavit is true, to the best of my knowledge.

Chris O'Leary Affidavit Regarding Timothy Cardinal Dolan


My name is Chris O’Leary and I’m a survivor of the Catholic sex abuse crisis.

If you've seen the movie SPOTLIGHT, my story is basically the sequel to the movie; my story picks up where the movie ends.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, at the Church of the Immacolata in Richmond Heights Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis — just up the hill from the Galleria Mall, if you know St. Louis — over a period of four years I was sexually exploited, abused, and assaulted — raped — by a priest named Father LeRoy Valentine. Abuse that followed a period of Testing and Grooming.

Testing and Grooming, at least, that was witnessed, at least in part, by a man I’ve referred to — because simply saying his name causes my heart to race and blood pressure to drop, having since learned what he did, and did NOT do, in the face our my and our sexual abuse by Fr. Valentine — as My Friend The Cardinal.

A man you know as Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York.

What’s worse, it wasn’t just Testing and Grooming that Cardinal Dolan witnessed at Immacolata, back when, to me, he was just Father Timothy Dolan.

Cardinal Dolan witnessed at least some of my, and our, Child Sexual Abuse by Fr. LeRoy Valentine.


Then Father, and now Cardinal, Timothy Dolan came to Immacolata in the Summer of 1976, straight out of the Seminary, between my Second and Third Grade years.

My first, and clearest, memory of a Priest was of then Father Dolan and the time he came to speak to my Third Grade class, during our Religion Class, about the readings I assume from that morning, which included Mark 8:22-26, the story of how Jesus Healed the Blind Man at Bethsaida. I remember this because then Father, and now Cardinal, Dolan chose me to play the role of Jesus Christ.

The gist of Fr. Dolan’s message, that day, was that Jesus was fully human and, as a human being, made mistakes, just like all humans do. Which meant that making mistakes was no big deal.

I didn’t know Fr. Dolan as well as some, because I didn’t start serving until a year later, in the Fall of 1978, in Fifth Grade, as was the custom at Immacolata, and Dolan was usually assisted by the older boys, not the new Altar Boys. However, I do remember serving at least one mass for Father Dolan, and being chosen to sit to his right and perform the role of holding the Big Book whenever Father would intone, “Let us pray.”

Then, in the Summer of 1977, between Third Grade and Fourth Grade, another priest was sent to Immacolata.

Father LeRoy Valentine.

My abuser.

I’ve discussed elsewhere, at length, what Fr. V —- as we referred to him —- did to me and to us.

But, here, let me talk about the overlap between Father Valentine and then Father, and now Cardinal, Timothy Dolan.


Fr. Valentine got at us, in part —- started Testing and Grooming, and then Abusing, us —- via Face To Face Confession, which I think started in Fourth Grade, though I’m not completely sure.

What I AM sure is that Father Valentine also got at us by hosting “parties” for groups of younger, Fourth Grade boys; boys who weren’t yet old enough to serve for the priests (which didn't happen until Fifth Grade).

“Parties” that were held in the rectory.

The same Rectory Fr. Valentine shared with Fr. Dolan and our Pastor, Monsignor Cornelius "Conny" Flavin.

The “parties” that Fr. Valentine held for Fourth Grade and prospective Altar Boys involved inviting a group of boys over —- I remember my group being A, T, R, and me —- so we could get to know Father and he could get to know us. Again, we were only Fourth Graders and didn’t have the opportunity to get to know Fr. V as Altar Servers, since you didn’t start serving until Fifth Grade.

These parties involved ordering pizza —- I think from Chanello’s —- and playing Board Games, In this case RISK.

The party also involved Wrestling, which is where the process of Testing and Grooming would begin.

In sum, during the course of teaching us how to wrestle, Father Valentine would make up some excuse —- he’d say we were doing something wrong, as I recall —- to end up wrestling with each of us.

Showing us what to do.

And he would touch your Penis.

Multiple times.


The Test was to see whether you would react.

Whether you would throw Father Valentine off you —- and across the room, as A did, when tested —- or whether you would freeze.

In stunned, questioning confusion.

As I did.

This is speculation but, knowing what I know about Child Sexual Abuse, I have to wonder if Fr. Valentine —- like many pedophiles —- would interpret the lack of a reaction (beyond my flinching) as consent.

If you DIDN’T like it, you’d throw him off you, like A did, that one time so, by doing nothing, that must mean you LIKED it, so…

Where then Father and now Cardinal Dolan enters the picture is due to the fact that all of this would happen while Fr. Dolan (and Monsignor Flavin) were in the SAME Rectory, I think upstairs or, at least, in a different part of the Rectory.

(I think the Wrestling happened in the basement.)

Now, I can’t say, because I don’t know for sure, what exactly Fr. Dolan knew about, or saw —- especially when it comes to the Wrestling and Testing part -— but I am certain about this next story, in part because it didn't just happen to me.


In April 2018, in a piece in the St. Louis Post Dispatch by Aisha Sultan entitled, “Priest sex abuse survivor says trauma lingers,” I went public with my story. Shortly after —- perhaps later that day -— I received a Twitter Direct Message that unleashed a flood of memories...

“Hello Chris my name is R____, I graduated from Immacolata in 19__, was a(n) alter boy and had to get ‘hair cuts’ from Fr. Valentine in his bedroom, so I unfortunately know too. What angers me as much is several times leaving Valentines bedroom, fr. Timothy Dolan, now Cardinal Dolan, lived in the room next door & would be standing right there & never did anything.”

That’s story stunned me and confused me.

But it also made me think.

About some of the pieces of the puzzle I’ve long been holding onto, but didn’t know what to do with.

Where they fit.

I have this thing about my hair. About it creeping me out when it gets long. Because I can feel someone -- HIM, my abuser —- playing with it. And whispering in my ear.

In sum, I have a similar memory as the one the guy DMed me. Of sitting on Fr. Valentine’s bed. Upstairs in the rectory.

(I also have a clear memory of watching TV with Valentine in the TV Room in the rectory, I suspect the night of the RISK & Pizza Party, and before he started taking me upstairs, so there was a clear progression of events. Of Testing. And Grooming. And worse. And Fr. Dolan was around, in the Immacolata rectory, when all of that happened.)

I don’t remember what the pretext was, how exactly I ended up in Fr. Valentine’s room in the Immacolata rectory, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it had something to do with Hair and Haircuts, given that Fr. V’s playing with my hair seemed to be part of my abuse process.

It’s what he would do with one hand while touching me with his other hand.

And, to the point of then Father and now Cardinal Dolan, I have memories of Fr. Dolan being around while that was happening.



In the same, general area of the rectory and at the same time that Fr. Valentine was Grooming and Abusing me.

Playing with my hair and whispering in my ear -- what I've called "girl words" -- and touching me.

Down there.

That shouldn’t a surprise because Fr. Valentine took me upstairs in the Immacolata rectory and Valentine, as well as Father Dolan and Monsignor Flavin, all lived in the same rectory. Upstairs. Where there were a number of bedrooms and, I think, a common bathroom.

Like a small dormitory, basically.

One thing I remember, because it made me feel better —- safer, like what was happening couldn’t be as weird as it seemed —- is that Fr. Valentine made no attempt to hide from the other priests what he was doing to and with me, up in his bedroom in the rectory. He would leave the door open. And, at least once, while Fr. Valentine was abusing me, Fr. Dolan walked by.

I remember this because I was confused by what was going on —- I liked the attention and being held, because my dad didn’t hug or really touch me -- but I didn’t like WHERE or HOW I was being touched. And it was the reaction of Father Dolan -- his LACK of a reaction -- that gave me the sense that what Father Valentine was doing was no big deal.

Weird but not BAD weird.

And, to be clear, while it seems EXTREMELY inappropriate, now, it was thing back in the 1970s. To bring kids up to the rooms of priests in the rectory. I’ve had another guy tell me he was brought up to the bedroom of his priest —- now a Catholic Bishop —- when he was a child.

It was seen as part of the process of bringing boys into the club and helping them be familiar and comfortable with what goes on in a Rectory.

A process then Father and now Cardinal Timothy Dolan was personally familiar with, from his days at Immacolata, at least.


The overlapping of Timothy Cardinal Dolan with my abuser, Father LeRoy Valentine, which started in the Summer of 1977, ended in the Summer of 1979, when Dolan was sent to his next assignment.

But that’s not the extent of my involvement with Cardinal Dolan regarding the Catholic sex abuse crisis.

As you may recall, the movie SPOTLIGHT recounts the efforts of the Boston Globe’s SPOTLIGHT time to get to the bottom of the Catholic sex abuse crisis in Boston during the second half of 2001. That led to the publishing of two, and then a series, of articles starting after the first of the year in 2002.

Those Boston Globe SPOTLIGHT articles led the New York Times to start its own investigation of the Catholic Church and, for whatever reason, the New York Times ended up in my own backyard, running a piece on March 2, 2002 entitled, "2 paths no easy solution on abusive priests," that named my favorite priest from my childhood, Fr. LeRoy Valentine, as an abuser.

Confused about what my memories about Father Valentine -— only one of which, on its face, was even a little weird and sketchy -— meant, I called the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

And by then (Auxiliary) Bishop Timothy Dolan called me back.

I told Bishop Dolan what I remembered -— four things, as I recall, NOT including the Wrestling —- and Dolan IMMEDIATELY, without ANY investigation or even thought told me, and I quote…

“I know Fr. Valentine well. We were at the seminary together. We lived and worked together at Immacolata. I know Leroy Valentine didn't do any of the things he's being accused of. I know he would never do anything to hurt a child.”

Considering I was talking to Bishop Timothy Dolan, who I knew and trusted from my childhood and who WAS a Bishop -— and, the rumors suggested, was on his way to BIG things, and might even end up the first American Pope -— after talking to Dolan, as well as an "independent" therapist he referred me to, who also told me my memories didn’t mean anything, I put all of the Fr. Valentine stuff out of my mind.

And then I got sick.

I started reacting to the news that Father Valentine was an abuser -- and memories and what happened to me -- especially as my kids started to pass through the ages that I was when I was abused.

Starting with the Sacrament of Confession.

However, because of what Bishop Dolan told me, it would be 10 years before I could even CONSIDER whether the psychological issues I was having —- Anxiety, Depression and what would turn out to be PTSD and Complex-PTSD (C-PTSD) —- could be related to my experiences with Fr. LeRoy Valentine.

What Valentine did to me.

And Dolan did —- and did NOT do —- to me.

When I was a child.

In sum, in March 2002, in the aftermath of SPOTLIGHT, then Bishop and now Cardinal Dolan sent me on a 10-year wild goose chase.

Though it’s not directly related to my involvement with Timothy Cardinal Dolan, because it’s related to CRIMINAL activity by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Catholic Church, I wanted to relay one more, quick story.

A story that, I’d suggest, reinforces my allegation that then Father and now Cardinal Timothy Dolan was involved in the covering up of Child Sexual Abuse by Fr. LeRoy Valentine.

Because why else, in January 2014, would the Archdiocese of St. Louis commit PERJURY?

In an effort to try to protect Cardinal Dolan, I suspect.

Which, I’d suggest, demonstrates the veracity of my testimony.

Why would the Catholic Church commit a CRIMINAL act -- lie to the COURT -- except to help protect a Catholic cardinal?

As I mentioned, in early March 2002, I had multiple conversations -- at least three phone calls -- with then Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Conversations during which I told Dolan what I remembered and asked for his opinion; what they might mean and whether they meant anything. And Dolan told me they didn’t mean anything. Even my memory of waking up in the car next to Valentine, driving back from the Mud Cave trip, turning and looking at him, and being DISGUSTED by what I saw, which I KNOW I told Dolan.

I didn’t talk only to Cardinal Dolan in early March 2002. Dolan referred me to a female psychologist, who I have to assume was Nancy Brown, the Assistance Coordinator for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. And who Dolan told me was an independent psychologist who, “knows about these things.”

I mention that because, when I met with a Review Team from the Archdiocese of St. Louis in May 2011, they told me they had NO RECORD of my conversations either with then Bishop Dolan or with the woman I believe was Nancy Brown.

(Something which bothered me enough that I spent the next FIVE YEARS trying to find the office where I met with her, an effort that was finally successful —- I was finally able to SEE the building —- in January 2016, after something like 100 attempts and, unable to see it, droving right past the building.)

In January 2014, when a document that came to be known as the Matrix was published, which listed all of the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ interactions with survivors, imagine my confusion when I couldn’t find myself in the Matrix. And I’m quite sure I know which Accused Individual is Fr. Valentine, given one specific fact about his abuse and victims.

But I’m NOT in the Matrix, at least not with Valentine’s other survivors.

I suspect, in an attempt to craft a narrative that, yes, sure, Fr. Valentine WAS a bad guy, but he didn’t start abusing until AFTER Fr. Dolan left Immacolata.

If I’m lying about what happened about Immacolata, in general, at least, then why, in the Matrix, did the Archdiocese of St. Louis do what it did? Why did the Archdiocese of St. Louis not include me —- and at least two other guys, also with complaints involving Fr. Valentine from the time that Dolan was at Immacolata and overlapped with Valentine —- in the Matrix?

Why do the complaints involving Valentine in the Matrix NOT involve the time period of 1977-1979, the years that Fr. Valentine and Dolan overlap?

The dog that didn’t bark…

Finally, if you have trouble believing any or all of this -— trouble believing someone could SEE children being abused by a priest and not DO anything to STOP or PREVENT it —- let me tell you one more story about Immacolata, our Pastor, and how things were.

In late 2018 (I think) I met with my former Principal, Sister Helen Petropoulos, to discuss what happened at Immacolata; my memories and what they meant and what she knew.

Sr. Helen told me, without hesitation that, within days of school starting in 1977 —- Fourth Grade, for me -— Mrs. Mary Glarner, who ran the after school program, went to her to tell her that there was something WRONG with Father LeRoy Valentine. That he dressed and acted inappropriately around the children in the after school program, which was run out of the gym.

Sr. Helen, within days, went to our Pastor, Monsignor Cornelius Flavin, with this information. In sum, Monsignor Flavin asked Sister Helen where the incidents took place. She told him they were taking place in the gym.

NOT the school.

(The gym was attached to the school -- shared a wall -- and was separated by just a double door, off the entry corridor that led to the main stairs.)

As a result, Monsignor Flavin told Sister Helen that, since these incidents were NOT happening in the school, but in the gym, THEY WERE NONE OF HER CONCERN.

Monsignor Flavin told Sr. Helen that her area of responsibility and concern was the school building -— to which the gym was attached, sharing a common wall —- and not the gym. If something happened in the school building, she could and should do something about it. However, if it happened in the gym, or anywhere else on the campus besides the school building, that was none of Sister Helen’s concern.

That was Monsignor Flavin’s area of responsibility.

And, since the story Mrs. Glarner has told Sr. Helen involved the gym, she should just drop it.

Monsignor Flavin would handle it.

Which Sr. Helen did.

And Monsignor Flavin didn’t.

I have to wonder whether then Father and now Cardinal Timothy Dolan had a similar conversation with Monsignor Flavin regarding what Dolan had seen Fr. LeRoy Valentine doing to me and to us. And, when Monsignor Flavin told Father Dolan to keep his mouth shut, Dolan did.

(Just) following orders, I guess.

Again, the information I’ve provided in this affidavit is true and complete, to the best of my knowledge and ability, so help me God.



Christopher Kevin O’Leary
University City, Missouri
January 10, 2023

Updated March 15, 2023