Tag: Diocese of Paterson

Fr. Jose Alonso – Diocese of Paterson

Father Jose Alonso

(a/k/a Father Jose Alonzo)

Diocese of Paterson

Ordained: 1968

Died: 2003

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Agnes  (Paterson, NJ)
  • St. John Cathedral (Paterson, NJ)
  • Our Lady of Victories (Paterson, NJ)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Jose Alonso:

According to media reports, in January 2004, a lawsuit against the Diocese of Paterson alleging sex abuse by several area priests was filed. The lawsuit included as a defendant the Father Jose Alonso (a/k/a Jose Alonzo), a Paterson priest.

  • Multiple allegations were made about Alonso at least as early as the 1980’s.  

In a 1989 sworn deposition, Bishop Rodimer confirmed that he received reports that Fr. Jose Alonso was sexually abusing children that concerned him enough to personally investigate.  According to his deposition, Rodimer’s “investigation” was limited to asking the two priests who resided with Alonso if they knew of any wrongdoing.  When they denied any suspicious conduct, Rodimer let it go. 

In 1988, Alonso was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for the sexual abuse of two brothers, who were also altar boys.  

Alonso was named in at least 3 civil suits. In 2005, at least 2 claims were included in the settlement with the Diocese of Paterson for $5 million and four years of paid counseling.

Alonso served four and a half years of a five-year sentence in a state treatment center for sex offenders.  

He died in 2003, not long after his release from prison. 

Alonso’s name appears on the Diocese of Paterson’s list of credibly accused priests, published in February 2019.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Paterson.  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 Paterson now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

New Jersey Set to Become the Latest State Adopting Longer Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse

New Jersey is set to become the latest state to expand its statute of limitations for survivors of sexual abuse to seek justice against those who have harmed them.  The law will apply not only to abusers themselves, but to any persons or organizations that were negligent in allowing the abuse of a child to occur, such as a school, athletic league, or church.

The proposed law, which has been stalled in the New Jersey legislature for almost 20 years, will extend the time victims have to sue to age 55, or 7 years from the discovery of the connection between their psychological injuries and their abuse (known as “the discovery rule”).

Critically, the bill will also open a two-year window during which anyone can file suit for damages arising from sexual abuse, including anyone whose claims were previously barred by the statute of limitations.  This measure will allow many survivors of abuse access to the courts when it had previously been denied to them.

Recent studies show that the average survivor of sexual abuse reports his or her abuse as a child after the age of 50.  This law, like many others now being passed and considered nationally, recognizes that child sexual abuse is something that people are not typically ready to deal with until much later in life. In the case of many survivors, it will also shift the cost of treating the effects of sexual abuse from the State to those who are actually responsible for the abuse.

The law will affect hundreds, if not thousands, of children sexually abused by priests in the five New Jersey Catholic dioceses.  Recently, the New Jersey Catholic Conference announced voluntary settlement funds to resolve claims of child sexual abuse by clergy in an abbreviated process that does not allow for a discovery of information held in the secret files of New Jersey’s bishops.  However, under the new law, plaintiffs would be allowed access to that information and the public will finally know what Catholic leaders have done to enable the abuse of New Jersey’s children for decades (and what, if anything, they have done to prevent it).

It also abolishes the doctrine of charitable immunity in cases of child sexual abuse.  Previously, under New Jersey law, a non-profit organization could claim immunity for alleged negligence in the commission of crimes and against children.  It will also enact additional protections for victims who file lawsuits, including barring evidence of the victim’s sexual history.

The bill has passed both houses of the legislature and is expected to be signed by the governor when it hits his desk.

Title New Jersey abuse. Horowitz Law

What You Need to Know About New Jersey Catholic Diocese Victim Compensation Program

All five of the Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey have created a unified compensation fund to provide money to people who were sexually abused as children by their clergy.  Victims will be eligible for the funds regardless of whether the statute of limitations has passed on their ability to file a lawsuit against the Diocese or priests.  Payouts will be determined by fund administrators based in part on the extent and duration of the abuse, the nature of the abuse, age of the victim, the impact on the victim’s life, and whether drugs and alcohol were a factor.

The program’s start and finish date have not yet been announced.  Contact Horowitz law today for additional details on how to bring a compensation claim.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide.  We have handled similar fund claims in New York and Pennsylvania. Contact us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or (954) 641-2100 to discuss your options today with a lawyer regarding how to bring a claim in the New Jersey Dioceses compensation fund program.

Some clergy abuse victims praised the opportunity to receive compensation while others view the funds as a public relations tool by the Diocese Bishops to quash legislation that would older victims of abuse an opportunity to file lawsuit on time-barred claims.  Unlike the clams process, a lawsuit would potentially yield answers to questions about the priest’s history of abuse and the role that Bishops and other Diocese officials played in allowing such abuse to occur.

The Dioceses’ announcement comes at a critical juncture for the Catholic church as lawmakers will be deciding in the upcoming session whether whether to temporarily remove the state’s civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse.  Such a change could potentially be financially destructive to the Church and result in public gaining access to church records concerning abusive priests that have been held in secrecy for decades

The five Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey are the Archdiocese of Newark, Diocese of Camden, Diocese of Trenton, Diocese of Paterson, and Diocese of Metuchen.  Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in New Jersey.  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 New Jersey now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.