Fr. Terrance McAlinden – Diocese of Trenton

Father Terrance O. McAlinden

Diocese of Trenton

Fr. Terrance McAlinden Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1967

Removed from ministry: 2007

Sick Leave: 2007

Died: 2015

Assigned as follows:

  • 1967 – 1971 Our Lady of Victories (Sayreville, New Jersey)
  • 1971 – 1973 Incarnation (Trenton, New Jersey)
  • 1971 – 1989 Catholic Youth Organization (Trenton, New Jersey)
  • 1988 – 2007 St. Theresa (Tuckerton, New Jersey)
  • 1997 – 2002 St. Michael’s (Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey)
  • 2007 – 2015 Chancery, Lawrenceville
  • Jeremiah House, Keyport

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Terrance O. McAlinden:

In 2007, the Diocese of Trenton removed Father Terrance O. McAlinden from active ministry after a sexual abuse allegation surfaced dating back to the 1980s and 1990s. The claim regarded the sexual assault of a 13-year-old male parishioner.

In 2011, two more male victims came forward claiming that McAlinden had sexually abused them. One of the attacks took place during the year of 1969 while the other claimed his abuse took a course over a five-year span from 1980 to 1985.

The latter of the two 2011 victims claimed he initially reported the abuse to the Diocese in 1989, received a small settlement in 1992 and was forced to sign a confidentiality agreement regarding the matter. The agreement prohibited the victim from discussing any details regarding the abuse. 

In 2014, a 4th victim settled a lawsuit with the Diocese after he claimed McAlinden sexually abused him over the course of three years in the 1980s. The victim was 14-years-old when the abuse began. The civil suit was ultimately dismissed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. On top of the dismissal, the Diocese argued they were not responsible for the claimed abuse as it took place during McAlinden’s “off duty” period.

Victims described McAlinden’s predatory tactics as using alcohol, threats and the “name of God” to coerce his victims into sexual situations.

In a sworn deposition, McAlinden confirmed he slept naked beside young boys as well as bathed with them in a hot tub.

McAlinden worked at parish assignments in Sayerville and Trenton before being elected as the Director of the Diocese’s Catholic Youth Organization. He held his position in the CYO for over two decades. 

The Diocese of Trenton has offered no information about the total number of allegations against McAlinden except to say there are “multiple.”  After the Diocese removed McAlinden from his assignments in 2007, McAlinden worked as a real estate agent in Brigantine. McAlinden was stripped of his faculties and was no longer permitted to display himself as a priest publicly.

McAlinden died in 2015.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Trenton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims, but filing deadlines apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.

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