New Jersey Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuits
The New Jersey “look back” window opened on December 1, 2019. The window closed on November 30, 2021. Under the “look back” window, survivors filed more than 820 priest abuse lawsuits against the New Jersey Catholic dioceses.
Lawsuits Filed Under The “Look Back” Window
The majority of the abuse allegations occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. Nearly half of the priests named in these lawsuits are deceased.
However, survivors have legal options even when an abusive priest is deceased. For example, in March 2021, a survivor filed one of the most recent cases against the Newark Archdiocese. The plaintiff claims the former Newark archbishop, Peter Gerety, sexually abused her multiple times in the 1970s. The plaintiff was five years old when the bishop began abusing her.
Clergy Abuse Settlements In New Jersey
The five New Jersey dioceses have paid at least $50 million in clergy abuse settlements. Individually, each diocese has paid thousands of dollars to compensate abuse survivors. For example, since 2003, the Paterson Diocese has paid at least $12.5 million to settle abuse claims.
Some of the more notable New Jersey diocese settlements are listed below.
To reduce the number of lawsuits and settlements against the church, the dioceses opened a victim compensation program in 2019.
New Jersey Dioceses Compensation Fund
In February 2019, the five dioceses of New Jersey created the Independent Victim Compensation Program (IVCP). Survivors of New Jersey clergy abuse were able to file claims for compensation from the dioceses.
As of January 31, 2020, registration for the IVCP is closed.
As of January 2020, the IVCP authorized $11 million in payouts to 69 applicants. Hundreds of applications are still being reviewed.
In August 2020, the Diocese of Camden suspended its participation in the IVCP. The diocese cited lost revenue caused by COVID-19 restrictions as the reason behind its decision. The Camden Diocese will pay any awards already determined by the program coordinators. However, all unresolved claims against the diocese will be paused for the foreseeable future.
The ICVP will continue reviewing and processing claims made against the Archdiocese of Newark, the Diocese of Metuchen, the Diocese of Paterson and the Diocese of Trenton.
Survivors who do not wish to seek compensation through the IVCP may still file a lawsuit against the diocese that covered up their abuse. Our clergy abuse lawyers can help you determine the best option for your unique circumstances.
New Jersey Diocese Bankruptcy
In October 2020, the Diocese of Camden filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It was the first diocese in New Jersey to seek bankruptcy protection following the passage of Bill S477, which opened a “look-back” window for survivors.
Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan cited costly victim settlements and revenue lost during the pandemic as reasons behind the decision. According to the bishop, the diocese paid more than $8 million to victims before filing for bankruptcy.
Child Sex Abuse Statutes Of Limitations In New Jersey
Like most states, New Jersey has two distinct statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse claims. One applies to criminal charges, and one is used for civil claims.
In 2019, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 477 (S477) to extend the state’s civil statute for claims of sexual abuse. The bill also opened a two-year retroactive window. This window revived all expired cases of child sexual abuse for two years. In doing so, it allowed survivors with older claims of abuse to seek legal justice.
As of November 30, 2021, the New Jersey “look back” window has closed.
Civil Statutes For Child Sex Abuse In New Jersey
In New Jersey, child sexual abuse survivors must file a civil claim before they reach 55 years of age.
The state also has a seven-year discovery rule. Any survivor, regardless of their age, may file a civil claim within seven years of discovering an injury caused by abuse.
Before New Jersey lawmakers extended the legal deadline, survivors had only two years to file a legal claim. People who were abused as minors had to file a claim before turning 20 years old.
Despite offering many survivors more time to file, the new civil statute is not retroactive. Under the new statute, many survivors with older claims are still time-barred from seeking legal action. To remedy this issue, lawmakers opened a two-year “look back” window.
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Speak With Our Lawyers About New Jersey’s Legal Window
New Jersey’s “Look Back” Window
Under New Jersey’s “look back” window, anyone could file a civil claim of child sexual abuse in the state of New Jersey.
The “look back” window applied to both child and adult sexual abuse claims. It also applied to claims filed against abusive individuals, private institutions and government entities.
The two-year window opened on December 1, 2019. The “look back” window closed on November 30, 2021.
Criminal Statutes For Child Sex Abuse In New Jersey
In New Jersey, there is no criminal statute of limitations for felony or aggravated sexual assault.
Other sexual offenses or incidents of child abuse may abide by a different criminal statute. Learn more about New Jersey’s criminal statutes as they relate to child sexual abuse here.
List Of Priests Accused Of Abuse In New Jersey
This list contains the names of clergy members and priests in the New Jersey dioceses facing allegations of sexual abuse.
This list does not include diocesan staff members, volunteers or parishioners facing similar allegations. However, you may still be able to file a civil claim against these accused individuals.
If you or a loved one has been abused by a clergy member in the New Jersey dioceses, contact us about your legal rights. We can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Survivors May Be Eligible For Compensation
Learn About Filing a Lawsuit in New Jersey
There Are 82 Accused Clergy Members From The Archdiocese Of Newark, NJ:
- Alcamo, Robert
- Andre, Sister
- Batista, Jorge
- Benedetto, James T.
- Bergeur, John X.
- Bonelli, Vincent
- Bouton, John C.
- Campanalonga, Michael G.
- Campanlonga, Michael
- Capparelli, John M.
- Carey, James A.
- Chabak, Robert H.
- Chaney, John B.
- Cheplic, Peter A.
- Coakley, Robert "Br. Edmund"
- Cocozza, Dennis E.
- Crespo, Arturo
- Crouse, William S.
- Dagwell, John H/Br Aloysius
- DeFrias, Hadmels R.
- DiPeri, Joseph
- Dominic, Yusaf
- Donohue, John J.
- Dowd, William J.
- Duffy, Thomas F.
- Eilert, Edward J.
- Ernst, David A.
- Fagan, Joseph P.
- Flanagan, John
- Ford, Thomas Cuthbert
- Fugee, Michael C.
- Gadek, Lawrence
- Galdon, Richard
- Gallo Espinoza, Manuel
- Giblin, William
- Gibney, Robert G.
- Giella, Augustine
- Granstrand, Charles P.
- Guglielmo, Alan
- Gugliotta, Kevin A.
- Hartling, Charles W.
- Heustis, Jerome "Jerry"
- Hewitt, Andrew
- Heyndricks, Eugene P.
- Hudson, Charles J.
- Jerome, Vincent
- Komar, John E.
- Kortina, Kevin
- Kuntz, James F.
- Laferrera, John J.
- Lima, Rene Cavalcanti de
- Maione, Francis T.
- Marotta, Robert
- Martin, Kenneth L.
- McAulay, John R.
- McCann, William
- Medina, Horacio Daniel
- Mieliwocki, Richard J.
- Morel, Robert
- Mousley, Thomas
- Nickas, John P.
- O'Brien, Michael J.
- O'Sullivan, Timothy Joseph
- Omarini, Contardo Angelo
- Pecklers, Keith F.
- Phelan, Victor
- Regina, Sister
- Reilly, Thomas H.
- Rengifo, Jesus Orlando
- Rice, Joseph P.
- Ruane, Gerald P.
- Salazar, Mario
- Sita (Howard), Carmen (Gerald)
- Stanford (Stamford), Thomas
- Stanley, Edward
- Stauffer, Robert
- Sudol, Gerard J./Gerald
- Svec, Robert
- Walsh, Peter M.
- Walters, Michael (Mitch)
- Worry, Benedict
- Zasacki, Robert E.
There Are 65 Accused Clergy Members From The Diocese Of Camden, NJ:
- Barber, Joseph P.
- Barber, Michael L.
- Bender, Claude J.
- Bernard, John P.
- Blaszczynski, R. Henry or Henry S.
- Bloh, John F.
- Bober, Marjan L.
- Bohrer, John D.
- Brennan, Joseph J.
- Cannon, William B.
- Clements, Gerald P.
- Connelly, Norman T.
- Connor, John P.
- D'Amico, Michael H.
- Davis, Charles J.
- Demarest, Kenneth
- Evans, Eldridge T.
- Flemming, Francis J.
- Follett, John E.
- Gerbino, A. Richard
- Gillespie, Edward
- Hardin, Roy T.
- Harkins, Thomas M.
- Hopkins, James Francis
- Hudson, Francis
- Igle, Edward A.
- Johnson, Anthony WIlliam
- Kelly, John P.
- Kuhl, Charles E.
- Lucano, Edward
- Lyons, Dermott F.
- Madden, Patrick J.
- Manuppella, Anthony J.
- Mathews, Philip A.
- Matthews, Phillip A.
- McCloskey, Francis A.
- McElroy, Jr., John J.
- McGarvey, Joseph
- McIntyre, James P.
- McLaughlin, Francis J.
- Millard, Daniel F. M.
- Morel, John J.
- Nwoga, Laserian
- O'Sullivan, John J.
- Orsini, Joseph
- Osinski, Peter J.
- Pisik, Timothy E.
- Reilly, Walter T.
- Rigney, Dennis J.
- Rigney, Philip T.
- Robertson, Glendon E.
- Ryan, James R.
- Salamandra, Francis L.
- Schmid, Robert J.
- Scott, Augustus
- Seidenberg/Seidenburg, Augustine J.
- Shannon, Joseph E.
- Sheehan, Donal
- Smith, John E.
- Smith, Walter
- St. Germain, Antoine
- Sullivan, Brendan V.
- Titmas, William D.
- Vasapolli, Alfred J.
- Weaver, Patrick J.
There Are 18 Accused Clergy Members From The Diocese Of Metuchen, NJ:
- Banko, John M.
- Casey, John J.
- Cashman, Michael J.
- Cole, Raymond L.
- Corbesero, Eugene D.
- Dolak, Mark J.
- Duggan, Kevin P.
- Farrell, George A.
- Ganley, Thomas P.
- Giordano, John C.
- Huels, John
- Kramarz, Anthony
- Kuffner, Patrick J.
- Littleton, Gregory J.
- Rossi, Dann
- Santillo, Michael P.
- Spalding, John B.
- Zielinski, Tomasz Adam
There Are 40 Accused Clergy Members From The Diocese Of Paterson, NJ:
- Alonso (Alonzo), Jose
- Bradley, Charles V.
- Brennan, Timothy J.
- Capato, Justin J.
- Coutinho (Continuho), Absalom
- Cramer, William N.
- Dennehy, Francis X.
- Dericks (Derricks), John Henry
- Durka, Stanislaus
- Erwin, Patrick
- Flavin, Malachy
- Fox, Donal
- Guzman, Carlos
- Hanley, James T.
- Heekin, John
- Lopez Durango, Jose
- Lott, Richard E./Edward
- McBride, Peter
- McCarthy, William
- Mockus, Wiliam John
- Molloy, Joseph W.
- Nugent, Francis "Frank" E.
- Nurek, Marcin
- Perretta, Andrew T.
- Pisarcik, John G.
- Pruschowitz, Walter
- Rainforth, Thomas G
- Scott, James
- Sella, Donald J.
- Shaw, Eileen
- Smith, James A.D
- Sodano, Ralph H.
- Stepien, Allen F.
- Sutton, John
- Travers, Luke
- Tully, Ronald J.
- Varettoni, Julian B.
- Wall, John
- White, Gregory
- Winston, William L.
There Are 42 Accused Clergy Members From The Diocese Of Trenton, NJ:
- Apura, Romannilo (Nilo)
- Balestrieri, Edward
- Becker, Ronald
- Brietske, Richard C.
- Brown, Gerard J.
- Bruno, Francis
- Burek, Marcin
- Burns, Michael J.
- Comito, Charles J.
- Dino, Benjamin R.
- Eliscard, Jean-Level
- Fernandez, Manuel R.M.
- Frain, Thomas J.
- Garry, Michael M.
- Griffin, J. Gerard
- Hermansen, Douglas U.
- Iazetta, Frank J.
- Inghilterra, Vincent J.
- Janos, Francis J.C.
- Kelty, Leo A.
- Kuruthukulaugara, Jose Ignatius
- Magee, Patrick Francis
- McAlinden, Terence O.
- McHugh, Joseph F.
- McKeone, William J.
- Milewski, Richard R.
- Minogue, Liam A.
- Muccilli, Sebastian L.
- Munn, Kurt
- O'Donoghue, Charles
- Parenti, Robert J.
- Prioli, Joseph J.
- Punderson, Joseph R.
- Riedlinger, Matthew
- Rittenhouse, Thomas A.
- Selvaraj, James
- Sullivan, John E.
- Tumang, Florencio Peneda
- Vaughan, Gregory D.
- Velan (Christudas), Marukudiyil (Chris)
- Williams, H. Brendan
- Zeis, Gabriel
If you believe the priest you are looking for is facing allegations in a different state, use our nationwide searchable database of accused priests.
You may still have a claim against an abuser, even if you do not find the name of your abuser on our New Jersey list or within our database. As more information comes to light, more names may be added to our database.
Even if your abuser is not listed in our database, we want to hear from you. We want to help. Reach out today to learn more about your legal options.
New Jersey Priest Abuse Victim Resources
Victims of sexual violence do not need to process the trauma alone. In the state of New Jersey, there are many resources and organizations a survivor can contact for help. The expandable table below provides information on each New Jersey county’s sexual violence program.
New Jersey Sexual Violence Programs by County
|County||Facility Name||Phone Number(s)|
YWCA of Bergen County
|Burlington||CONTACT of Burlington County||Hotline: 856-234-8888
|Camden||Services Empowering the Rights of Victims (SERV)|
Center for Family Services
|Hotline: 1-866-295-SERV (7378)
|Cape May||C.A.R.A., Inc.||Office: 609-522-6489
|Cumberland||Services Empowering the Rights of Victims (SERV)|
Center for Family Services
|Essex||SAVE of Essex County|
Family Service League, Inc.
|Hotline: 877-733-CARE (2273)
|Gloucester||Services Empowering the Rights of Victims (SERV)|
Center for Family Services
|Hotline: 1-866-295-SERV (7378)|
|Hudson||Hudson S.P.E.A.K.S (Formerly known as Hudson County Rape Crisis Center)|
|Hunterdon||SAFE in Hunterdon||Hotline: 888-988-4033
|Middlesex||Middlesex County Center for Empowerment||Hotline: 1-877-665-7273
|Monmouth||180 Turning Lives Around||Hotline: 888-264-7273
|Morris||Atlantic Behavioral Health||Hotline: 973-829-0587|
|Ocean||St. Francis Community Center||Hotline: 609-494-1090
|Passaic||Passaic County Women’s Center||Hotline: 973-881-1450
|Salem||Salem County Women’s Services||Hotline: 856-935-6655|
|Somerset||Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS),|
Zufall Health Center
|Sussex||Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Services (DASI)||Hotline: 973-875-1211
|Union||Union County Rape Crisis Center||Hotline: 908-233-7273
|Warren||Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Crisis Center (DASACC)||Hotline: 908.453.4181
|Sources:||New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault|
New Jersey Priest Abuse FAQs
What Is The Statute Of Limitations On Priest Sexual Abuse In New Jersey?
In New Jersey, a child sexual abuse survivor must file a civil lawsuit before they turn 55. This applies to lawsuits against abusive priests or dioceses accused of covering up abuse.
New Jersey also has a seven-year discovery rule. A survivor may file a civil claim within seven years of discovering an injury caused by abuse, regardless of age.
How Do I Report Sexual Abuse By A Priest In New Jersey?
If you or a suspected victim is in danger, call 911 immediately.
The state of New Jersey has several hotlines to report child sexual abuse:
New Jersey Child Protection and Permanency (CP&P)
Hotline: 1-877-NJ-ABUSE (652-2873)
New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA)
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is investigating Catholic priest abuse in New Jersey. People may report cases of sexual abuse by a clergy member to the investigation by calling a special 24-hour hotline at 855-363-6548.
Reporting the abuse to the state Attorney General’s Office does not prevent a victim from reporting the crime to law enforcement or the County Prosecutor’s Office for criminal prosecution.
Report Sexual Abuse & Assault
Visit Our Resource Page to Learn More
You can also report incidents of clergy abuse to the relevant diocese:
Report Abuse To The Newark Archdiocese
Victim’s Assistance Coordinator
Report Abuse To The Camden Diocese
Diocese’s Victim’s Assistance Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Report Abuse To The Metuchen Diocese
Doranne Rossiter | Director of Child and Youth Protection
Report Abuse To The Paterson Diocese
Ken Mullaney | Diocesan General Counsel
Phone: 973-777-8818, ext. 240
Email: [email protected]
Report Abuse To The Trenton Diocese
Email: [email protected]
Do I Have To Currently Live In New Jersey To File A New Jersey Priest Abuse Lawsuit?
No. A plaintiff does not need to live in the state of New Jersey to file a clergy abuse lawsuit in the state. However, there must be some connection in the case to New Jersey.
Examples of a notable legal connection include the following:
- The abuse occurred in New Jersey.
- The responsible institution is headquartered in New Jersey.
Once identified, this connection can dictate how an experienced clergy abuse attorney handles each specific case.
New Jersey Clergy Abuse NewsAll Clergy Abuse News
Defrocked cardinal Theodore McCarrick has become the highest-ranking Catholic official to face criminal charges of sexual abuse.
A recent Vatican report found the late Pope John Paul II was warned of allegations against Theodore McCarrick before making him Archbishop of Washington.
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Meneo Group managing partner: Ron Meneo
Ron Meneo is the managing partner of The Meneo Law Group. With more than 40 years of experience, he represents clients across the country on a variety of complex legal matters, including personal injury due to institutional sexual abuse, unsafe pharmaceutical drugs and other practice areas. He is a recipient of Martindale-Hubbell’s prestigious AV® Preeminent Rating. He has also served as an editor and contributor for several legal journals.
Archdiocese of Newark. (N.D.) Report Abuse. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
Bukuras, J. (2021, December 3). Report: Hundreds of sex abuse lawsuits filed against New Jersey Catholic priests during 2-year window. Catholic News Agency.
Child USA. (2021, April 21). New Jersey Child Sex Abuse SOLs. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
Diocese of Camden. (N.D.) Report Sexual Abuse. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
Diocese of Metuchen. (N.D.) Report Suspected Abuse. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
Diocese of Paterson. (N.D.) To Report Abuse. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
Diocese of Trenton. (N.D.) Reporting Abuse. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
Englewood Public School District. (N.D.) Guide to reporting child abuse/neglect.
Heyboer, K. (2018, August 22). Here’s how much N.J. Catholic dioceses have paid out to sex abuse victims. NJ.com.
Heyboer, K. (2018, September 23). Here’s what you should do if you know someone abused by a Catholic priest in N.J. NJ.com.
Heyboer, K. (2020, January 30). Catholic fund has paid $11M to N.J. priest sex abuse victims. Friday is the last day to apply. NJ.com.
Koloff, A., Yellin, D. (2020, December 1). Over a year, more than 230 sex abuse suits have been filed in NJ against the Catholic Church. NorthJersey.com.
Koloff, A., Yellin, D. (2020, December 28). Here’s what we uncovered this year about Cardinal McCarrick, beach houses and sex abuse. NorthJersey.com.
Koloff, A. (2021, November 29). As filing window closes, sex abuse lawsuits against NJ Catholic Church number 820. NorthJersey.com.
Mueller, M. (2014, October 3). N.J. diocese pays $610K to settle claim it allowed sexually abusive priest to remain in ministry. NJ.com.
New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA). (N.D.) Find Help. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
Roebuck, J., Farr, S. (2020, October 2). Camden’s Roman Catholic diocese declares bankruptcy, citing COVID-19 costs and priest abuse claims. The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Senate Bill 477, Chapter 120 (New Jersey 2019).
Sherman, T. (2004, October 9). Newark Archdiocese settles abuse cases. Star-Ledger. SNAP.
Walsh, J. (2020, July 31). Diocese of Camden, citing pandemic, suspends role in clergy sex-abuse fund. Courier Post.
(2005, February 10). Catholic Diocese of Paterson to pay $5 million to settle priest sex abuse suit. News 12 New Jersey.
(2019, January 14). 5 victims of sexual abuse reach settlements with Archdiocese of Newark. News 12 New Jersey.
(2021, May 18). Lawsuit: Former Newark archbishop abused 5-year-old girl. The Associated Press.