If you relied on Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin (Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark), here’s what you would know about one of New Jersey’s most prominent and prolific child molesting clerics:
Fr. Carmen Sita faced ‘multiple’ victims, was defrocked, worked at one parish in Jersey City and inexplicably also went by the name Fr. Jerry Howard.
That’s all that the information that Cardinal JosephTobin provides on his archdiocesan website.
But the Cardinal didn’t mention that Sita
–pleaded guilty to giving drugs to and abusing a New Jersey kid
–was accused of molesting at least four others there
–was sent to a New Mexico church facility for ‘treatment’
–while there, legally changed his name to Jerry Howard
–was sent, without warning, to a parish in the Jefferson City Missouri diocese
–molested several boys there, again, also giving them drugs
–was charged with abusing three kids
–was removed from his parish
–went on to work at two secular jobs in Missouri – Charter Hospital in Columbia and as a counselor in Fulton (again, apparently with no warning to others),
–pleaded guilty and
–is behind bars now.
So Cardinal Tobin left out far more information about Fr. Sita (or Fr. Howard) than he provided.
This egregious misrepresentation of course led us to spend a few more minutes looking at the Newark Archdiocese ‘credibly accused” list.
We found more of the same deceit:
—Fr. Michael Charles Fugee faced one accuser, has been defrocked, and worked at five locations (a hospital chaplaincy and parishes in Newark, Rochelle Park, Wycoff and Short Hills), according to Tobin.
Tobin deliberately leaves out these facts about Fr. Fugee:
–he worked at a second Newark parish,
–he worked a parish in Colt’s Neck,
–he held several other Newark church assignments (the Holy Childhood Association, Missionary Union of Priests & Religious, Continuing Education and Ongoing Formation of Priests),
–he was found guilty of aggravated sexual contact, was sentenced to a lifetime of parole and was ordered to register as a sex offender,
–when that conviction was overturned on appeal, Fugee signed an agreement that he would never again work unsupervised with children and would undergo sex offender therapy,
–but a few years later Fr. Fugee was back in ministry, as a hospital chaplain,
–was then ousted when hospital officials complained they’d not been told of his past,
–was also given chancery assignments,
–years later, he had been helping with overnight teen retreats and hearing teens’ confessions, and
–after parishioners’ expressed outrage, finally resigned from active ministry.
As if these two horrific cases aren’t enough, consider these two:
—Fr. Michael “Mitch” Walters, who faces “multiple” credible allegations and has been “permanently removed” from ministry, Tobin tells us.
Tobin doesn’t mention, however, that Fr. Walters was also accused of being part of a ‘sex ring’ with former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Or that at least five men have settled lawsuits charging that Fr. Walters molested them as kids.
—Fr. Peter M. Walsh is ‘credibly accused,’ Cardinal Joseph Tobin reveals, but insists that people refer to the Order of Friars Minor for more information.”
With a few clicks on a keyboard, we find that Fr. Walsh was in fact:
–convicted on five counts of child endangerment – for exposing himself to children – in Lyndhurst NJ and
–is on the New Hampshire diocese’s ‘credibly accused’ list.
Can the deception get worse? Sadly, yes. These two priests can be found nowhere on Archbishop Tobin’s website:
–Fr. Harry Dean Walker, who has been defrocked for reportedly abusing in Maryland but went on to become the Director of the Youth Action Center in Newark and youth pastor at Faith City.
–Fr. Kevin Bray, who is accused of abuse and twice worked in the Newark archdiocese (East Orange, and Elizabeth). He also worked in two other dioceses (Paterson NJ and Wilmington DE), lived in Florida and was a military chaplain.
We at Horowitz Law won’t hold our breath waiting on Cardinal Joseph Tobin to make these corrections or additions to his ‘credibly accused’ list.
It’s a rare day when a Catholic official says “Oops. Sorry. We forgot to tell you about a few predator priests.”
And it’s even more rare when one says “Yea, you caught us. We thought we could keep a few predator priests hidden. But now that you’ve pointed out my deception, I’ll promptly add them to our ‘credibly accused’ list.”
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark 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 the Archdiocese of Newark now have legal options, but filing deadlines will 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.