Father Thomas James Pagni
Diocese of Orlando
- St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church (Winter Park, FL)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Thomas James Pagni:
Fr. Thomas James Pagni was a former priest and mental health counselor with the Orlando Diocese. In 1995, Pagni was arrested in Tampa for allegedly sexually abusing a 17-year-old client in 1992, as well as abusing multiple young boys starting in 1973, when serving at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park. He continued to abuse minors until he was forced to resign 13 years later, in 1986. Upon his resignation, the church agreed to pay his college tuition to obtain a degree in psychology in Fort Lauderdale.
Two more civil suits were filed that led to Pagni’s arrest. Pagni was charged with two counts of sexual abuse on a minor and three counts of prostitution, all stemming from his activities as a counselor. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison but was released in 2000.
According to the suit, the diocese moved Pagni to various parishes in Central Florida and had him seek counseling but did not remove him. The suit said the church made a deal with Pagni to have him resign in exchange for supporting him for two years until he graduated from Nova University.
Pagni is named on the Diocese of Orlando’s 2020 List of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor. He was also a registered sex offender. Pagni died in 2008.
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