Dave Lewcon serves as a special consultant and victim advocate for the Law Office of Tahira Khan Merritt. He is not a lawyer but his experience as a survivor makes him an invaluable resource for our law firm. When he was a teenager, Dave was sexually abused and exploited by a Catholic priest. Because of his own experiences as a victim whose trust was betrayed by a religious authority figure, Dave brings compassion and a confidential perspective to his role as a victim advocate for our clients.
Dave was sexually abused by a notorious pedophile priest, Reverend Thomas H. Teczar. “Father Tom” worked for the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts from the 1960s until the mid-1980s. While he was a priest at St. Mary’s Church in Uxbridge, Teczar met, groomed and molested Dave. Even after reports of Teczar’s abuse of boys became known, the Bishop of Worcester transferred Teczar to other New England parishes where his abuse of teenage boys continued. Dave was the first person to bring a successful legal action for damages in civil court against Teczar and the Diocese of Worcester.
1998 Worcester, MA and Ft. Worth, TX Diocese – Fr. Thomas Teczar Sex Abuse Case; Dave Lewcon
In 1988, the Diocese of Worcester and its Bishop despite its knowledge that Teczar has sexually abused young boys in his various parish assignments, aided and abetted in his transfer to the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas where he was accepted by then-Bishop Joseph P. Delaney. While working for the Fort Worth Diocese, Teczar preyed on multiple teenage boys in parishes in Fort Worth, Arlington, Ranger, Cisco and Strawn, Texas more than (20) twenty years after he abused Dave.
On behalf of six (6) of Teczar’s Texas victims Tahira Khan Merritt represented and pursued civil cases against the Teczar, the Fort Worth Diocese and the Diocese of Worcester. One of the victims, known as John Doe II in the Texas civil cases, was also able to bring criminal charges against Teczar. The Eastland County District Attorney, Russ Thomasson, appointed Ms. Merritt as Special Prosecutor to assist him in trying the criminal case against Teczar. Dave was called as a witness by prosecutors to testify in both the original criminal trial and the retrial which resulted from the appeal of his original criminal conviction and 25 year sentence. The retrial resulted in Teczar’s (second) conviction and a sentence of 50 years in prison. It was not until after the Texas civil and criminal cases that Teczar was finally laicized or “defrocked” by the Diocese of Worcester.
For more information on the Teczar case, please see our Results Page and Teczar’s database record on BishopAccountability.org.
Dave knows what-and who-it takes to pursue justice and closure. He draws from his long history of activism for individuals who have been traumatized by sexual abuse. Dave was co-founder of the New England Chapter of SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests). In this role, he received hundreds of phone calls and emails from victims worldwide looking for information and support concerning clergy sex abuse.
Dave has also received training in co-active coaching. He incorporates these skills to better assist sexual abuse victims.
You may confidentially contact Dave, special consultant for the Law Office of Tahira Khan Merritt, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.