Diocese: Diocese of Savannah GA
Father Wayland Brown’s first complaint was filed in 1969, while he was a lay CCD teacher in Savannah. Despite advice from the Vocation Director, he was later ordained by Bishop Lessard. Complaints continued to surface throughout the late 1980s.
Three men alleged abuse as children during the 1960s and 1970s. In 2002, Father Wayland Brown pled guilty to abusing two boys in 1974 while at Catholic University Seminary in DC. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Maryland in 2003, but released in 2008 after being laicized in 2004.
Brown was then sued again in 2008, and settled the suit in 2009 for $4.24M. He was also placed on the Sex Offender Registry. In 2011, another suit was filed against him, which was settled in 2016 for $4.5M.
In 2017, Brown was indicted in South Carolina for the rape of two boys in the late 1970s and 1980s while assigned to St. James in Savannah. The victims were students at the parish school, and one victim claimed the abuse began when he was 9 years old. Brown was accused of putting a gun to his head, threatening to kill him, his family, and his dog, and even admitted to enjoying killing small animals.
Brown pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2018. He was listed on the diocese’s list in 2018 and died in prison in 2019. Another suit was filed against him in 2020, and he was included in the 4/5/23 MD Attorney General’s Report.