Father Francis Nelson
Diocese of Brooklyn
Assigned as follows:
- Doctoral Program, Fordham University
- 1997-2001: St. Mary Star of the Sea (Brooklyn, NY)
- Unknown: St. Charles Borromeo (Harlem, NY)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Francis Nelson:
Fr. Francis Nelson was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Kottar in India. In 1996, he came to the United States and was assigned to work for the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Archdiocese of New York. According to media reports, in May 2002, he was arrested on charges of child sexual abuse that reportedly occurred in 1999, while he was working at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Brooklyn, New York. He was accused of visiting a 12-year-old girl, taking her on his lap, touching her breasts under her bra, and pushing his penis into her buttocks through her clothing, while her terminally ill grandmother sat nearby.
“He began pulling me into his groin area with his head against my back . . . breathing heavily and sweating,” she testified.
The survivor’s family reported the incident to the Diocese of Brooklyn. Nelson denied any wrongdoing, but after an investigation the Diocese found her allegations to be credible, and he was removed from ministry.
Bishop Tharmaraj of the Diocese of Kottar, India, wrote a letter of recommendation on behalf of Nelson which helped him secure a job in the Archdiocese of New York, where he continued to work until he was arrested in May 2002. In 2003, he was convicted and sentenced to four months in jail. It is believed he currently works in the bishop’s office of the Diocese of Kottar in southern India.
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