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Fr. Joseph K. Symons – Diocese of Palm Beach

Father Joseph K. Symons 

Diocese of Palm Beach

Fr. Joseph K. Symons Horowitz Law
Ordained: 1958

Resigned: 1998

Assignment History:

  • 1958-1959:  St. Monica’s (Palatka, FL)
  • 1958:  St. John Manor (FL)
  • 1958-1968:  Diocesan Tribunal (St. Augustine, FL)
  • 1959:  good Counsel Camp (Floral City, FL)
  • Unknown:  St. Jude’s (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • Unknown:  St. Ignatius (Tarpon Springs, FL)
  • 1959-1961:  St. Patrick’s (Pinellas Park (Largo), FL)
  • 1961-1962:  Sacred Heart (Pinellas Park, FL)
  • 1962-1966:  St. Paul’s (Leesburg, FL)
  • 1962-1966:  St. Lawrence (Bushnell, FL)
  • 1966-1968:  Episcopal Vicars (St. Augustine, FL)
  • 1966-1971:  St. Joseph’s (Bradenton, FL)
  • 1968-1969:  Sacred Heart (Bradenton, FL)
  • 1971-1981:  St. Mary Our Lady of Grace (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1968-1983:  Building Commission (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1969-1974:  Liturgical Commission (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1979-1980:  Liturgical Commission (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1968-1983:  Liaison Commission for Interdenominational Affairs/Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1968-1983:  Commission for Communications Media (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1969-1974:  Realty Board (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1979-1980:  Realty Board (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1971-1983:  Vicars General (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1971-1980:  Diocesan Consultors (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1981-1983:  Diocesan Consultors (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1971-1974:  Vicar for Religious Women (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1971-1981:  Financial Advisory Board (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1981-1983:  Financial (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1973-1981:  Chancellor (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1974-1980:  Master of Ceremonies (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1981-1983:  Incardination Commission (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1978-1983:  Priests’ Personnel Committee (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1981-1983:  Diocesan Advisory Board (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 1981-1983:  St. Catherine of Siena (Largo, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Joseph K. Symons:

Fr. Joseph K. Symons was ordained in 1958 for the Diocese of St. Augustine, where he became a member of the diocesan Tribunal and an Episcopal Vicar. Symons was known for recruiting young people to the church and for his progressive outreach programs. He directed several camps for children, one of which he had founded. 

When the diocese split in 1968, Symons ministered for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. He held numerous chancery positions in his new diocese. While serving as St. Petersburg’s Chancellor in the early 1970s, he accepted into the diocese a known perpetrator of sexual abuse of children. Symons quietly left cash for the mother of two of that priest’s victims when she confronted him years later. He denied knowing the priest was a perpetrator. Symons was elevated to Auxiliary Bishop in 1981 and was appointed Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee in 1983. 

In 1990, Symons became Bishop of Palm Beach. In 1995, Symons admitted to having sexually abused a boy years earlier after the victim came forward. Symons said he was his only victim and was allowed to remain in ministry. Another man disclosed sexual abuse as a child by Symons in 1998. 

In 1998, Symons resigned several days later and admitted to having sexually abused five boys early in his career. One of the former altar boys Symons molested was a 13-year-old boy in which the abuse took place over a 3-year period. Symons returned to his home state of Michigan where he lived in a convent and led adult spiritual retreats.

Symons’ current whereabouts are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Palm Beach in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Neil Flemming – Diocese of Venice

Father Neil Flemming

Diocese of Venice/Miami

Neil Flemming Horowitz Law

 

Ordained: 1958

Removed: 2004

Assignment History:

  • Boystown Orphanage (Miami, FL)
  • William Catholic Church (Naples, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Neil Flemming:

Fr. Neil Flemming worked in the Diocese of Venice and Miami. He retired in 2000 but continued to work as treasurer for the Diocese of Venice until sex abuse allegations surfaced in May 2002. In 2004, the victim filed a lawsuit alleging that he was abused by Fr. Neil Flemming and his brother, Fr. James Flemming, beginning in 1969 when he was 14 years old at Boystown, an orphanage in Miami.

The victim stated that the alleged abuse began when he was summoned from Boystown to Neil Flemming’s quarters in a church rectory. The victim said that Flemming told the teen he needed a sperm sample because one of the boy’s testicles had not descended. Neil Flemming then performed oral sex on the youth, according to the complaint, and was made their “personal sex servant.” The abuse lasted for several years.

Flemming was permanently removed in early 2004. Two other lawsuits were filed in 2009 against Archdiocese of Miami named Fr. Flemming of abuse. The Archdiocese settled them in 2011. Three new suits were filed by three men in 2011. The details of the sexual abuse allegations, including when and where the alleged abuse occurred, or the victim’s age/gender, are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Venice in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Father John R. Dwyer – Diocese of Venice

Father John R. Dwyer 

Diocese of Venice/Brooklyn

Ordained: 1967

Removed: 2002

Assignment History:

  • 1968-1970St. Gregory the Great (Bellerose, NY) 
  • 1971-1973: St. James’ Pro-Cathedral/St. James’ Cathedral (Brooklyn, NY) 
  • 1972-1978: Diocesan Offices and Directors-Vocations (Brooklyn, NY)
  • 1974-1977: Cathedral Preparatory Seminary of the Immaculate Conception (Elmhurst, NY)
  • 1978-1979: St. Vincent de Paul’s (Brooklyn, NY) 
  • 1980-1989: St. Martin of Tours-Fourteen Holy Martyrs (Brooklyn, NY) 
  • 1990-1996: Released from Diocesan Assignment 
  • 1990-1993: St. Joseph’s (Bradenton, FL) 
  • 1994-1996: St. Patrick’s (Sarasota, FL)
  • 1997-2002: Our Lady of the Angelus (Queens, NY)
  • 2003-2019: Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father John R. Dwyer:

According to media reports, Father John R. Dwyer was permanently removed from ministry in July 2002 after credible accusations were made against him. In February 2019, Father Krouse’s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Brooklyn’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. The details of the allegations, including when and where the abuse occurred, are unknown. His current whereabouts, status as a priest, and whether he has access to children are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Venice in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. John H. Dagwell – Diocese of Venice

Brother John H. Dagwell

Diocese of Venice/Newark/Xaverian

Br. John Dagwell Horowitz Law
Joined: 1962

Left order: 2002

Assignment History:

  • 1968: Xaverian Brothers HS (Westwood MA)
  • 1968-1988: St. Joseph Regional HS (Montvale NJ)
  • 1989-1998: In residence (Milton, MA)
  • 1998-2002: Manatee Community College (Venice, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother John H. Dagwell:

According to documents released by the Archdiocese of Boston in 2003, Brother John H. Dagwell pled guilty to molesting a minor child, who was his student, while working in Newark in 1988. The victim was a 15-year-old boy.  During the course of the investigation, other students said they were also inappropriately touched by Dagwell.

He admitted in a plea bargain to touching one student’s genitals through their clothing in 1986.  

Dagwell’s religious order transferred him to Milton, MA after the guilty plea.  According to news reports, Dagwell applied for a job as a director at a local Boston homeless shelter and lied about his reason for leaving St. Joseph’s High School. He was later forced to resign two years after getting the job due to inappropriate sexual advances toward a shelter resident.

Even after the incident in the shelter, the Xaverian brothers wrote Dagwell an outstanding letter of recommendation and he was given a new job at Crossroads Shelter. Two months later, they found out about his past and asked him to leave. Dagwell relocated to Florida’s West Coast and taught at Manatee Community College in Venice.

In 2002, John Dagwell’s personnel file was among the records of nearly a dozen accused priests released by the Archdiocese of Boston. Shortly after, Dagwell left the Xaverians, citing “personal reasons.” Notably, Dagwell does not appear on the Archdiocese of Newark’s February 2019 list of credibly accused priests.

Dagwell is believed to be residing in Sunrise, Florida, near Ft. Lauderdale.    

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Venice in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

Fr. Thomas P. Creagh – Diocese of Venice

Father Thomas P. Creagh

Diocese of Venice

Thomas Creagh Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1967

Laicized: 2004

Died: 2008

Assignment History:

  • 1967: Saint Margaret Mary (Louisville, KY)
  • 1967: Saint Francis of Assisi (St. Francis, KY)
  • 1970: Holy Family Cathedral (Anchorage, AK)
  • 1972: Holy Rosary (Dillingham, AK)
  • 1973: Saint Vincent dePaul (Louisville, KY)
  • 1974: Our Lady of Lourdes (Louisville, KY)
  • 1978: Saint Leonard (Louisville, KY)
  • 1980: Saint Albert the Great (Louisville, KY)
  • 1985: Diocese of Venice, FL
  • 1987: Saint Mary Parish (Hillview, KY)
  • 1987: Saint Ignatius (Louisville, KY)
  • 1999-2002: Holy Family Parish (Louisville, KY)
  • 2002-2004: Diocese of Venice, FL

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Thomas P. Creagh:

Fr. Thomas Creagh was involved in four sexual abuse lawsuits to date, beginning in 2002. According to media reports, the first incident was reported initially reported to the Archdiocese of Louisville in 1982 while serving at St. Albert the Great. Fr. Creagh was a friend of the victim’s family at the time of abuse.  Creagh climbed on top of the victim and masturbated on him while kissing his ears. Creagh was allowed to remain in that parish because a psychological examination found he posed no danger to children. Creagh neither confirmed nor denied the 1982 allegation, although he noted that he had never been suspended because of it. The victim filed a civil lawsuit in May of 2002.

The second lawsuit was filed a few days after the first, May 2002. The alleged abuse occurred in December of 1983, in the rectory of St. Albert the Great. The victim claimed he was molested by the priest after picking him up from Trinity High School.

The third lawsuit was filed in May 2002. The alleged abuse occurred in December of 1974, in the rectory at Our Lady of Lourdes in Louisville. The victim claims that when he was 15 years old, he met Fr. Creagh on a retreat. Creagh told him that he had performed oral sex on other boys. He also said Creagh would get him drunk and would hug and kiss him.

Finally, the fourth lawsuit was filed in June 2002. The alleged abuse occurred in 1980, on an overnight trip to a cabin owned by Creagh and other priests.

Archdiocesan officials admitted they knew of abuse of a teenage boy in 1983 and contributed $10K to a settlement with the victim. He relocated to Florida and did some work at parish in the Diocese of Venice after the first settlement. Creagh was removed from parish and laicized in 2004. He died in 2008 while living in Sarasota. He is named on the Archdiocese of Louisville’s list of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor in 2019.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Venice in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Charles Cikovic – Diocese of Venice

Father Charles Cikovic

Diocese of Venice

Charles Cikovic Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1986

Convicted: 1993

Assignment History:

  • 1986-1987: St. Joseph’s Church (Bradenton, FL)
  • 1988-1993: St. Francis Xavier (Ft. Myers)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Charles Cikovic:

Fr. Charles Michael Cikovic was removed from duties at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Ft. Myers after the accusations were made in 1993 claiming he sexually abuse a 13-year-old girl. According to media reports, the victim told investigators that the sexual relationship took place at the priest’s Fort Myers home, on cruise ships out of Miami, and at motels in Venice, Charlotte, Orange and Dade counties.

Fr. Cikovic pleaded guilty in September 1993 to three counts of sexual battery on a child and one count of lewd and lascivious acts on a child. He was sentenced to six months in jail and 20 years’ probation. He was released in December 1995. The Diocese of Venice agreed to an out-of-court settlement in the lawsuit to the victim in 1997. News reports also say that there were previous accusations against Cikovic from the 1980s. He was last seen living in MO and is on the Sex Offender registry.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Venice in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr Norman T. Connelly – Diocese of Venice

Father Norman T. Connelly
Diocese of Venice/Camden

Norman T. Connelly Horowitz Law

 

Ordained: 1965
Suspended from ministry: 1993

Assignment History:

  • 1965: Our Lady Star of the Sea (Cape May, NJ)
  • 1965: St. Rose (Haddon Heights, NJ)
  • 1965: Cathedral Academy (Camden, NJ)
  • 1966-1967: Immaculate Conception (Camden, NJ)
  • 1968-1972: St. Peter (Merchantville, NJ)
  • 1973-1974: St. Patrick (Woodbury, NJ)
  • 1975-1981: St. James High School (Carneys Point, NJ)
  • 1981-1982: St. Michael (Gibbstown, NJ)
  • 1982-1987: St. John (Paulsboro, NJ)
  • 1988-1992: St. Joseph (Woodstown, NJ)
  • 1993: Epiphany (Venice, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Norman T. Connelly:

Father Norman Connelly served in parishes in New Jersey and Florida. According to media reports in 2002, two brothers suffered years of sexual abuse at the hands of several priests, including Father Norman Connelly. The victims initially filed a lawsuit and lost a bid to sue the Diocese of Camden when a judge ruled that the statute of limitations had expired in their cases.

The brothers alleged that they had been molested as teenagers and claimed that the church had long known of and tolerated such conduct by priests, including Connelly. One victim said that when he was a teenager, Connelly took him and other altar boys to a Philadelphia bathhouse, where they played volleyball and basketball in the nude. He and his brother say Connelly also showed them pornography.

Lawyers for the diocese argued that the brothers understood all along that the sexual assaults had harmed them in some way and that they should have filed suit sooner.

While the lawsuit was dismissed, the victims shared in an $880,000 settlement from the Diocese of Camden in 2002.

Connelly’s name appears on the February 2019 list of credibly accused priests published by the Diocese of Camden.  According to Bishop Sullivan, the list, “includes those who admitted to the abuse, those who were found guilty after a trial in the church courts or the civil courts, and others against whom the evidence was so overwhelming as to be virtually unquestionable.”

Connelly is permanently removed from ministry and is believed to be residing in Naples, Florida.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Venice in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. John Sutton – Diocese of Palm Beach

Father John Sutton 

Diocese of Palm Beach/Diocese of Paterson

 

Ordained: 1970

Dead: 2000

Assignment History:

  • St. Andrew (Clifton, NJ)
  • St. Agnes (Paterson, NJ)
  • Chaplain, St. Joseph Hospital
  • Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Swartswood, NJ)
  • St. Patrick (Chatham, NJ)
  • Saint Joan of Arc (Boca Raton, Florida)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Sutton:

Fr. John Sutton was ordained in 1970. He is a former Catholic priest who served for a time at Saint Joan of Arc in Boca Raton, Florida. He’s included by the Diocese of Paterson (New Jersey) in its list of 28 priests who have been credibly accused of illegal sexual abuse involving minors.

Sutton took a leave of absence for unspecified reasons in 1979. Years later, he requested to be transferred to the Diocese of Palm Beach. The transfer was granted by the Bishop of Patterson and Sutton was eventually incardinated in the Diocese of Palm Beach in January of 2000 where he remained for the duration of his priesthood until his passing in August of 2000. 

The Diocese of Paterson says it investigated the abuse claim involving Sutton in 2005, along with their local prosecutor’s office, and found the accusation to be credible. The abuse is said to have occurred in the 1970s.

Information about the age/gender of his alleged victims, the nature of the alleged sexual abuse, or Sutton’s assignments at the time of the alleged abuse is unknown.

Sutton died in 2000.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Palm Beach in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. George Brennan – Diocese of Venice

Father George Brennan

Diocese of Venice

George Brennan Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1987

Died: 2011

Assignment History:

  • Epiphany Cathedral (Venice, FL)
  • Incarnation (Sarasota, FL)
  • Our Lady Queen of Martyrs (Sarasota, FL)
  • St. Paul (Arcadia, FL)
  • St. Patrick (Sarasota, FL)
  • St. Vincent de Paul Seminary (Boynton Beach, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father George Brennan:

Father George Brennan worked at numerous parishes within the Diocese of Venice. In 2005, a civil lawsuit was filed against Fr. Brennan alleging he sexually abused an 11-year-old boy in the early 1980s while a seminary student at Incarnation Catholic Church. The Diocese of Venice responded that Brennan was never assigned to Incarnation Church. He continued to serve there until his retirement in 2008. Fr. Brennan died in 2011.

According to media reports, in 1991, Brennan pleaded no contest to exposing himself to an undercover deputy at a highway rest stop.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Venice in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Falviane Carvalho Horowitz Law

An Unlikely Hero Saves Two Florida Kids

An unlikely hero has saved two Florida kids.

She’s not a cop.

She’s not a prosecutor.

She’s not a psychologist.

She’s not a judge.

She’s not a children’s advocate or school teacher or nurse or doctor or day care provider.

In fact, she likely doesn’t have a college degree (or maybe not even a high school diploma).

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-orlando-florida-waitress-saves-boy-from-horrific-abuse-20210114-e5pqgns3vnbkbllkm6qstn6ugq-story.html#rt=chartbeat-flt

Dr. Martin Luther King once said “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

In our view, this woman, Flaviane Carvalho, is indeed great.

While waitressing at a family-owned restaurant in Orlando, she “noticed that a young boy at her restaurant was oddly quiet, had no food and appeared to have multiple injuries on his face — while the rest of his family were talking and enjoying their meal.”

Carvalho then wrote a note that said ‘Do you need help?’ and “secretly held it up while standing in a spot where only the child could see her. The 11-year-old initially hesitated but eventually signaled yes, prompting her to call the police.”

The waitress, who’s been called “brave” and “quick-thinking,” is now being credited with “saving the life of a boy who police said was being tortured, beaten, handcuffed and even hung upside down from a door as a sickening form of punishment.”

Both the child and his four year old sister were taken from the parents.

Police Chief Orlando Rolón told reporters “We probably would be talking about a homicide investigation if the waitress had not intervened.”

The victim’s mother and stepfather are now facing multiple charges.

Orlando Police Detective Erin Lawler, who is leading the investigation, said of the parents’ behavior, “It was torture. There was no justification for it.”

The lesson here is clear: third parties – like witnesses and whistleblowers – can stop crimes, especially if they are courageous and act quickly.

(Remember just last week, we cited another case in which wrongdoing was exposed (and hopefully, down the road, prevented) by a whistleblower in New York. That person shone a light on a clearly too-cozy relationship between Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the purportedly ‘neutral’ mediators he’s hired to divide up money among abuse survivors. https://adamhorowitzlaw.com/legal-news/page/3/)

“When you see something that is not right, act on it,” Detective Lawler said. “Call us, let us know what is going on so we can follow through. We are 100% convinced that (Carvalho) saved the life of the child and potentially future abuse of his sister.”

At Thursday’s news conference, which was live-streamed by local news station WFTV, Carvalho repeatedly praised the boy for having the “courage” to ask for help and said she was happy she did something in situation where many people probably wouldn’t.

“I feel glad that I did it,” she said. “But at the same time, I feel that I just did what human beings are supposed to do to each other.”

We concur!