Msgr. Brendan P. Riordan (Reardon) – Diocese of Rockville Centre

Monsignor Brendan P. Riordan (Reardon)

Diocese of Rockville Centre

Ordained: 1970

Elevated: Late 1991/Early 1992

Assigned as follows:

  • 1970-1975      St. Aloysius (Great Neck, NY)
  • 1975-1984      St. Pius X Prep Seminary (Uniondale, NY)
  • 1982-1984      St. James (Seaford, NY)
  • 1984-1986      Director of Education at House of Affirmation (Worcester, MA)
  • 1986-1988      St. Kilian (Farmingdale, NY)
  • 1989-1998      SS. Cyril & Methodius (Deer Park, NY)
  • 1998-2012      St. Aloysius (Great Neck, NY)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Brendan P. Riordan (Reardon):

Father Brendan P. Riordan (Reardon) was elevated to monsignor in late 1991 or early 1992. He was a board member for Community Organization for Parents and Youth (COPAY), a Long Island nonprofit that counsels drug-addicted teens. 

According to media reports, he was named with three other priests in a child molestation civil lawsuit that was settled in 1995. The alleged abuse occurred in the House of Affirmation, a controversial and now-closed, church-run treatment center for pedophile priests in Worcester, MA, where Monsignor Riordan was on the Board of Directors. He denied having any sexual involvement with the accuser. As of 2012, he has been working as a pastor at St. Aloysius in Great Neck NY.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Rockville Centre, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Rockville Centre 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.

Fr. Thomas F. DeVita – Diocese of Rockville Centre

Fr. Thomas F. DeVita

Diocese of Rockville Centre

Ordained: 1978

Removed: 2002

Died: 2013

Assigned as follows:

  • 1979-1980      St. Joseph (Kings Park, NY)
  • 1981-1982      St. Gertrude (Bayville, NY) 
  • 1983-1988      St. James (Seaford, NY)
  • 1989-1993      St. Aidan (Williston Park, NY) 
  • 1994                Unknown 
  • 1995                 Epiphany Cathedral (Venice, FL); St. Rita (Wellington, FL); Our Lady Queen of the Apostles (Royal Palm Beach, FL) 
  • 1996-1997       Unknown
  • 1998-2002       St. Mary of the Lake (New Buffalo, MI)
  • 2002-2012      Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Thomas F. DeVita:

According to media reports, in 1998, Father Thomas F. DeVita publicly confessed to having a “sexual relationship” with a 15-year-old boy in 1978, while he was a pastor at St. Joseph’s in Kings Park, New York. He claimed the boy was 16 and the relationship was consensual.

In 1984, the victim’s mother reported the child sexual abuse to Aux. Bishop G. Ryan and he promised to take action. When the mother learned Father DeVita was still active in 1993, she once again complained to the Diocese of Rockville Centre. 

“Rape is a horrible thing. It’s a destruction of another person’s life,” DeVita said. “I’m not justifying what happened in 1978 or excusing it, but what happened in 1978 was not a rape or an attack.

“(It) was the right way of sharing affection with someone as opposed to what happened to me in 1961 (referring to his own alleged rape as a 13-year-old boy in the basement of his seminary school by a maintainence man) — except it wasn’t the right way because he was a minor and I was a priest.”

The victim’s mother said she knows how her son felt when he came home after a weekend trip with Father DeVita, and she knows her son did not consent.

“He slammed the door and ran upstairs. Father Tom poked his head in the door and said (her son) got a little hurt. He said, ‘We were horsing around with some teen-agers at my friend’s parish.’ “

The victim was paid a $50,000 settlement in 1993, and Father DeVita was sent for three months of psychiatric treatment. He was then transferred to Florida, where he served briefly in the Palm Beach Diocese. He then joined the Kalamazoo Diocese in Michigan, where he remained an active priest until he was removed from ministry in 2002. He died in 2013.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Rockville Centre, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Rockville Centre 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.

Naples massage therapist disciplined for sexual misconduct

Naples massage therapist accused of sexual misconduct disciplined by the Florida Department of Health 

On January 15, 2020, the Florida Department of Health accepted the voluntary relinquishment of Carlos Ysrael Ramos’ license to practice massage therapy in the state of Florida. It is accepted as a resolution to sexual misconduct complaints at two spa locations, and will be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank as a disciplinary action. Ramos agreed to never re-apply for a massage therapist license in Florida again. 

Ramos was a licensed massage therapist from Naples. In February 2016, he was accused of sexually assaulting a 54-year-old female client at Hyatt Stillwater Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida.  During the massage, Ramos made inappropriate comments about her body. He removed the sheet exposing the woman’s buttocks without her consent. He then inappropriately massaged her inner thighs, buttocks and anus.

In April 2018, a second complaint of sexual misconduct was reported by another woman when Ramos worked at Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Naples. According to the woman, she fell asleep while Ramos was massaging her legs. When she woke up, she found him rubbing her groin area with his fingers on or near her vagina. When she moved, he continued massaging her legs. She fell asleep again while Ramos massaged her neck and back. She awoke to find her body completely exposed with Ramos massaging in between her buttocks with his fingers. Again, when she moved, he continued massaging her legs.

When clients go for a massage, it is to decompress from the stresses of life and relax. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa are carefully vetted and safe. It is unacceptable for any employee to touch a client in a sexual manner.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at massage parlors and other spas and resorts. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

diocese of buffalo sexual abuse

Diocese of Buffalo Returns Two Accused Priests Back to the Ministry

In a puzzling and potentially reckless move, two Buffalo diocesan priests who are accused, in a civil lawsuit, of molesting a child have been put back into ministry.

If history is any guide, we suspect this is a decision that may well come back to haunt Bishop Edward Scharfenberger.

His public relations staff claim that the accusations against the two priests “could not be substantiated.”

But when you enter the names of the two “accused but just re-instated” priests – Fr. Peter Popadick and Fr. Paul Nogaro – into the diocesan website search box, nothing comes up about them ever having been accused or suspended.

https://www.wnycatholic.org/search.php?form_name=search_block_100007&form_event=submit&task=execute-search&search_load_100007=2020-01-17+16%3A09%3A05&search_keywords_100007=popadick

That raises an obvious question: If church officials apparently didn’t even announce that these two priests were accused of abuse in a lawsuit, how hard did they work to ‘substantiate’ the charges against them?”

The Buffalo diocese says its ‘investigation’ was thwarted because the accuser supposedly would not ‘cooperate’ with them. https://bit.ly/2FYMQi2

That raises another question: Had the accuser of these clerics died, would the diocese just have given up trying to determine whether his or her allegations had merit?

Think about the Jeffrey Epstein case. Even after his death, efforts at determining the truth about him and achieving justice continue. Shouldn’t Catholic officials work to determine whether Fr. Popadick and Fr. Nogaro are potentially dangerous EVEN IF their accuser prefers to disclose his experiences in a courtroom instead of in the chancery office?

And assuming they’re telling the truth, given the horrific track record of the Buffalo diocese in particular and the Catholic church in general with abuse, can anyone really blame a victim for choosing NOT to trust a church official or a church committee?

In their announcement about putting Fr. Popadick and Fr. Nogaro back on the job, Buffalo church officials make a curious omission: They don’t mention that the accuser of these two priests also accused two OTHER clerics of abuse: Fr. Frank J. Tuchols and a “Fr. Mike.” (In 1995 Tuchols was caught in a sting by the DEA buying crack cocaine.)

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news555/1995_01_28_Herbeck_Local_Priest.pdf

Why this ‘oversight?’ It does little to inspire faith in Bishop Scharfenberger’s promises of ‘transparency.’

The plaintiff says his abuse happened at St. Mary of Sorrows and at Bishop Fallon High School. When he filed suit, Fr. Nogaro was at St. Stephen Church on Grand Island and Fr. Popadick was at St. Aloysius.

We hope that anyone who works or worships at those parishes will step forward if they know of or suspect abuse.

We also hope his suit brings this plaintiff healing.

Finally, we hope Buffalo Catholics will demand some further explanations from their bishop.

Central Florida chiropractor accused of sexually assaulting woman with dementia

Central Florida chiropractor accused of sexually assaulting woman with dementia

According to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, in mid-November 2019, Altamonte Springs chiropractor, Kent Klonel, 58, was accused of trying to sexually assault a woman in her 80s. He was caught naked from the waist down in the room of the woman who suffers from dementia at the nursing home where she lives. Investigators said Klonel knew the woman and that she can’t speak or move on her own.

Deputies said when a nursing assistant went to check on the woman, the door to her room was closed when it should have been open. According to the affidavit, she went to open it and realized the door had been barricaded shut with a chair. When she finally got it open, she saw Klonel naked, with no pants, no underwear and his outer shirt unbuttoned. The victim was lying in her bed naked from the waist down with no diaper on. 

Records show, the nursing assistant called for help after Klonel shut the door. When they opened the door again, Klonel was dressed except for his shirt. The victim was still naked with her knees bent up, according to authorities. 

Investigators said Klonel made inconsistent statements following the incident, including that he barricaded the door because he was using the restroom and did not want anyone to walk in on him. He claimed the victim didn’t have pajama bottoms on but she was covered with a blanket.

According to the warrant, investigators believe Klonel was in the process of sexually battering the woman when he was interrupted by the staff of the assisted living facility. 

In mid January 2020, Klonel was arrested on charges of attempted sexual battery and battery by touch or strike. He was given a $35,000 bond and ordered not to return to the nursing home and to wear a GPS monitor. He works at Klonel Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Center in Altamonte Springs.

For most people the thought of having to live in a nursing home is a frightening one. Despite the trained experts and knowledgeable staff employed to support a loved one’s needs, it remains a nightmarish experience for various reasons. Safety and security are the top concerns for patients. When placing a loved one in the care of professionals, It is expected that employees at the facility are carefully vetted and safe. It is unacceptable for anyone to touch a patient with dementia who lacks the capacity to consent in a sexual manner.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against health care facilities on behalf of patients who were inappropriately touched at their facilities.  A nursing home employee is never permitted to have sexual contact with a client. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery at a nursing home, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

church priest abuse Horowitz Law

It is 2020 — Have All the Abusive Priests Been Exposed Yet?

We predict that, if surveyed, 90% of US Catholics would agree with this statement: “These days, after decades of horrific scandal, bishops report suspected child sex crimes promptly to law enforcement.”

The trouble is, that’s not true. Look no further than this week’s news from Alaska.

As recently as 2016, a New York man was working there as a parish priest. He’s now in a Maryland treatment center for the sexually troubled. This week, he was ‘outed’ by his supervisors as a ‘credibly accused’ abuser, having reportedly viewed child porn on his computer.

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/anchorage/2020/01/16/archdiocese-accuses-14-southcentral-alaska-clergy-and-church-employees-of-sexual-abuse/

But the cleric, Fr. Robert Leising, says “no police were involved.”

What? How can that be? Haven’t bishops promised, time and time again, that they’ve ‘learned from the past’ and nowadays ‘immediately call police’ if they suspect child sex crimes?

It’s of course possible that Fr. Leising is not telling the truth. Who knows? (Why would he lie?) But his comments were publicly reported in the news media on Thursday. Today is Friday. No Catholic figure inside or outside of Alaska has contradicted his claim.

Are we glad his boss finally admitted he’s ‘credibly accused?’ Certainly.

Is that enough? Of course not.

What should Catholic officials do now?

They should give every shred of information about Fr. Leising’s alleged crimes to local police and prosecutors.

They should explain why they evidently didn’t do this immediately.

They should fire (or at least discipline) every person who, through action or inaction, didn’t call the law.

They should explain why Fr. Leising was supposedly ‘returned’ to his religious order (the Oblates of Mary Immaculate) in 2016, which suggests they kept quiet about his alleged crimes for years.

They should use every mechanism possible to seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Leising or cover ups by his colleagues (using parish websites, church bulletins, pulpit announcements and news releases). This should happen first in the towns where he worked most recently: Soldotna and Homer.

And church officials in New York should also do aggressive outreach. (He grew up in a small town between Buffalo and Niagara Falls. He may have molested kids or watched or made child porn in his hometown, while younger or while back home on a visit.)

Fr. Leising was publicly named this week along with other clergy “ranging from a deacon to an assistant to the archbishop to the chaplain of a homeless shelter” who worked “across Southcentral Alaska, including Anchorage, Talkeetna, Cooper Landing, Seward, Glennallen, Ninilchik and Valdez,” in some clearly remote and isolated communities among very vulnerable families.

https://www.archdioceseofanchorage.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Bishops-letter-report011620.pdf

The Archdiocese “covers 138,985 square miles — larger than the size of New Mexico. It stretches from Glennallen to Unalaska,” according to its website.

That’s a lot of territory for those who commit and conceal child sex crimes to work in with little or no supervision or oversight. And it’s potentially a very lonely place for a betrayed, suffering victim of sexual violence.

Juneau Bishop Andrew Bellisario is the temporary head of the Anchorage Archdiocese (replacing replaced Anchorage Bishop Paul Etienne). Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger is the temporary head of the Buffalo diocese (replacing Bishop Richard Malone).

Both must take further steps to protect the vulnerable, expose the truth and help bring healing.

And regardless of what Catholic officials do or don’t do, federal and local law enforcement should look long and hard and what seems to be a violation of secular law – knowing or suspecting child sex crimes but refusing to call police or prosecutors.

(Ironically, Fr. Leising isn’t the only ‘just outed’ Alaska abuser from New York. The Anchorage list also includes the name of Fr. Stanley Allie of Albany, who reportedly victimized a vulnerable adult in Alaska.)

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, brothers, nuns, seminarians, bishops and others. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by church employee or volunteer, contact our office today toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

Florida Lawmakers, Victims Target Eliminating Statute Of Limitations For Child Sex Crimes

Florida statute of limitations sexual

Ask yourself two questions:

(1) Is there a more devastating crime than child sexual abuse?
(2)  And is there a crime that’s more apt to be repeated than abuse if the offender isn’t caught?

That’s why we’re excited that. It’s a rigid, unwise deadline that gives predators incentive to intimidate victims, threaten whistleblowers, discredit witnesses, destroy evidence and sometimes flee to a new town, state or even country. It slams the courthouse door on already-wounded victims. It’s one of a child molester’s best weapons.

From Miami’s CBS station today: “Katrina Duesterhaus, 34, urged the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee to pass the proposal (HB 199), which would remove the statute of limitations in sexual battery cases when the victim is younger than 18 years old at the time of the crime.” https://miami.cbslocal.com/2020/01/15/florida-lawmakers-victims-target-statute-of-limitations-for-child-sex-crimes/

She says that five men raped her when she was 17, a heinous crime if ever there were one. Kudos to her for having the strength and courage to testify in Tallahassee on such a serious, painful and personal matter.

And kudos to Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood), Rep. Tracie Davis (D-Jacksonville) and the seven other House Democrats for co-sponsoring the measure.

While this measure targets criminal law, we hope lawmakers will also reform Florida’s CIVIL statute of limitations. That would give employers and institutions (churches, schools, Boy Scouts and others) to work much harder to prevent abuse and oust abusers quickly. No one who was raped, sodomized or fondled, especially as a child, should be locked out of our justice system. And no one who committed or concealed such horror should be able to exploit an out-dated legal technicality and continue to hurt kids.

Fr. Mark Lehman – Diocese of Phoenix

Father Mark Lehman

Diocese of Phoenix

Mark Lehman Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1988

Placed on Leave: 1990

Laicized: 2006 

Assigned as Follows:

  • St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School (Phoenix, AZ)
  • St. Timothy’s Parish (Mesa, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Mark Lehman: 

Father Mark Lehman was first placed on leave from ministry in 1990, two years into his priesthood, after allegations of sexual abuse were made against him. Two years later, he was charged and sentenced to 10 years in prison for fondling a young girl. The sentence also carried lifetime parole for the abuse of three additional girls and one boy who were identified during the criminal proceedings.

Lehman was released from prison in 2002.  According to news reports, the Diocese of Phoenix provided him with financial support while he was in prison and gave him money and other benefits at the time he was released as well.

In 2005, a new civil suit was filed and alleged abuse of a minor in 1985.

Lehman was laicized by the Vatican in 2006.

Lehman is not a registered sex offender.  His current location is unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a change in Arizona laws. Contact us toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

Fr. Karl LeClaire – Diocese of Phoenix

Father Karl LeClaire

(Salvatorian Fathers)

Diocese of Phoenix

Karl LeClaire Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1986

Placed on Leave: 2001

Assigned as Follows:

  • Queen of Peace Catholic Church (Mesa, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Karl LeClaire: 

In January of 2005, Father Karl LeClaire was sentenced to 1 year in jail and 3 years of probation after pleading guilty to sexually motivated aggravated assault. According to the indictment, the original charges stemmed from the repeated abuse of a boy starting in 1996.  The victim claimed the abuse went on for 7 years and started when he was only 13-years-old. He also said that LeClaire would take him on cruises and buy him nice things like a computer, clothing and a stereo.  LeClaire would often take the boy out of class at Queen of Peace grammar school in Mesa to abuse him. 

A second victim came forward during the criminal case and also claimed that LeClaire abused him as a minor at Queen of Peace starting in approximately 1999.

LeClaire has completed his sentence and is believed to be residing in Apache Junction, Arizona.  He is not a registered sex offender.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a change in Arizona laws. Contact us toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

 

 

Fr. Paul LeBrun – Diocese of Phoenix

Father Paul LeBrun

(Holy Cross)

Diocese of Phoenix 

Paul LeBrun Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1983

Resigned: 1999

Assigned as Follows: 

  • 1983-1986 Little Flower Church (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 1986-1991 St. John Vianney Church (Goodyear, AZ)
  • 1991-1993 Blessed Sacrament (Scottsdale, AZ)
  • 1993-1999 Little Flower Parish (Phoenix, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Paul LeBrun:

According to a list published by the Diocese of Phoenix, Father Paul LeBrun was the subject of only one allegation of sexual misconduct in his career as a priest.

According to a media report, in 2002, four different South Bend (Indiana) men told police that LeBrun had sexually abused them when they were minors, but no charges could be brought due to the expiration of the statute of limitations in Indiana.

However, the report caught the attention of other victims who came forward in Arizona. LeBrun was charged criminally in Arizona with sexually abusing multiple boys between the ages of 11 and 13 while assigned as a priest in Arizona.  In 2006, he was sentenced to 111 years in prison for abusing Arizona boys between 1986 and 1991.  

LeBrun was laicized by the Vatican in 2008.

He has been the subject of at least five lawsuits against the Diocese of Phoenix, filed by victims of his sexual abuse. In addition to the list of credibly accused priests published by the Diocese of Phoenix, LeBrun’s name appears on the Ft. Wayne-South Bend Diocese’s list of credibly accused priests, and on the Holy Cross Order’s list as well.

LeBrun is incarcerated in Arizona, and will likely never be released.  His projected release date is 2114.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a change in Arizona laws. Contact us toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.