Former altar boy says he was sexually assaulted by former Diocese of St. Augustine priest, Navy chaplain

Patrick Colville tells his story and pushing for a new Florida law to help survivors

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In 1975, Patrick Colville’s family moved from Virginia to Florida. He was 13 years old, the youngest of 12 children.

When his family got to Gainesville, they quickly joined St. Patrick’s Parish. Colville said it was there he met a young priest, Fr. John Dux.

“He started hanging out with me, buying me stuff, and taking me all over the place,” said Colville. “He became kind of entwined in my family. My mother never thought anything of it because he was a priest and priests could do no wrong in her eyes.”

In 1976, when Colville was 14, he said Dux took him to the state fair in Tampa. In the hotel room that night, Colville said, Dux raped him.

Patrick Colville as a young boy growing up in Florida. (Courtesy Patrick Colville)

“I was screaming stop. I hid in the bathroom in the shower for the rest of the night,” said Colville. “At one point I asked, ‘Should you not be doing this? Aren’t you a man of God?’ He said, ‘My profession says I just can’t have sex with women.’”

The next day, Colville said, he stayed silent on the drive home. That foreshadowed the next 40 years of his life — Dux stayed in his family’s life and he stayed silent.

Colville said he wrote what happened that night on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope and gave it to his sister to hold on to. She kept it for decades.

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