Fr. James T. Smith – Diocese of Brooklyn

Father James T. Smith  

Diocese of Brooklyn

Ordained: 1956

Removed: 2002

Died: 2012

Assigned as follows:

  • 1957-1959      Unknown 
  • 1960-1965      Our Lady of Grace (Howard Beach, NY)
  • 1966-1976      Holy Trinity (Whitestone, NY) 
  • 1977-1980      Our Lady of Hope (Middle Village, NY)
  • 1981-1993      Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Long Island City, NY) 
  • 1994-2002      St. Kevin (Flushing, NY) 
  • 2003-2012      Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father James T. Smith:

According to media reports, in April 2002, Father James T. Smith, who worked part time as a counselor for the Queens’ District Attorney’s office, was placed on leave amid allegations of child sexual abuse of at least 26 boys and girls between 1960 and 1976. while he was at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Whitestone and Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach. He was subsequently removed from ministry while working at St. Kevin in Flushing, and sent for counseling.

“He gave me the spiel he gave all the boys about my body going through changes,” said one of the alleged victims. “Then he pushed me to the floor. He said this would be our little secret.”

In a letter to one of his survivors, Father Smith wrote, “I know that in any 12-step program there is no stopping at those early steps,” the letter said. “I realized my own powerlessness over my compulsion… I must make amends and peace with someone, anyone, whom I have hurt by my actions…There was no excuse. It was inexcusable.”

Father Smith was named in a 2002 civil lawsuit involving 12 priests and a brother, and again in a 2003 suit involving 24 priests. He was separately sued in November 2003 by a woman, a cook at the St. Kevin rectory, who alleged that he repeatedly abused her 10-year-old daughter for about four years. The case was settled for $2 million.

Father Smith died in January 2012. In February 2019, his name appeared on the Diocese of Brooklyn’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. In September 2019, he was accused in a suit filed under the NY Child Victims Act of sexually abusing of a male student of Holy Trinity Academy in Whitestone, Queens from 1971 to 1974.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Brooklyn, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.