Father Joseph Romani
Diocese of Portland
Assigned as follows:
- Don Bosco College (Newton, NJ)
- St. Peter (Portland, ME)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Joseph Romani:
Fr. Joseph Romani, a native from Italy, came to the United States in 1924 and entered the Novitiate of the Salesians in New Rochelle, NY. He was ordained a priest in 1934 in California and served there and in New Jersey before transferring to Maine to serve in the Diocese of Portland in 1945.
According to documents released by the Maine Attorney General’s Office in 2002, the Diocese of Portland received three allegations of sexual abuse in the 1950’s-1960’s against Fr. Romani. One victim was 5 years old when she claims she was abused my Romani. The victim alleges that Romani took her to a yard behind the church where he would force her to stroke his penis. She also recalls that Romani penetrated her with his finger. The alleged abuse occurred prior to 1965.
Another victim was 6 years old when she claims she was sexually abused by Romani. In 1957, alleged victim was in the hospital for an appendectomy when Fr. Romani came to visit her. While there he took her to another room where he forced her to perform oral sex on him.
The third victim alleges that Fr. Romani began abusing her after he baptized her in 1959. The alleged abuse, which included repeated incidents of inappropriate touching and harassment, occurred when the victim was an adult.
Fr. Romani died in 2001 at the age of 93.
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