Email: roberthoatson@gmail.com
Phone: (862) 368-2800 Fax: (973) 736-0212
All information and correspondence is held in the strictest confidence.

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“Jamaican girl suing for being abused by priest”

Click to watch Video

 

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JESUIT PRIESTS AND BROTHERS OF THE NORTHEAST PROVINCE CONTINUE TO RE-VICTIMIZE A SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM OF A JESUIT PRIEST

MEDIA RELEASE – JANUARY 28, 2017

Jesuits of the Northeast Province, based on the upper eastside of Manhattan and surrounded by a parish, an elementary school, and two high schools, continue to re-victimize Neal E. Gumpel, a childhood clergy sexual abuse victim of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, a deceased, serial pedophile Jesuit priest, by refusing to reasonably settle his claim

 Jesuits admit to having credible information from approximately five (5) persons (besides the victim) about Neal E. Gumpel’s childhood sexual abuse by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, and still refuse to settle Neal E. Gumpel’s claim reasonably

What
A demonstration and leafleting alerting the media, parishioners of a Jesuit-sponsored parish, and general public that the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has insulted and re-victimized a childhood sexual abuse victim of a Jesuit priest by refusing to reasonably settle his credible claim.

When
Sunday, January 29, 2017, from 10:00 am until Noon

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10028 (between East 83rd and East 84th Streets) – 212-288-3588

Who
Neal E. Gumpel; his wife, Helen Gumpel, and members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including its co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.

Why
The Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) knows that Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, was a serial molester of boys.  The Province settled at least one public claim against Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, in the past.  Neal E. Gumpel’s credible factual account of having been sexually abused as a minor child by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, where Fr. Roy Alan Drake was a professor and Jesuit priest at Maine Maritime Academy, was credibly supported by approximately five (5) individuals, in addition to Neal E. Gumpel.  Now, the Northeast Province of the Jesuits, which has found that Neal E. Gumpel’s claim is credible, has insulted and re-victimized Neal E. Gumpel by refusing to reasonably settle his claim.  Demonstrators will ask parishioners and the general public to voice their outrage to the Jesuits of their parish and the leaders of the Northeast Province of the Jesuits whose offices are located around the corner on East 83rd Street and demand of the Northeast Province Jesuit leaders that they treat Neal E. Gumpel with compassion, fairness, and justice.

Contact
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. – Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800

Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.,

 

President & Co-Founder of Road to Recovery

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MEDIA RELEASE – JANUARY 12, 2017

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expresses his desire to get rid of the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children – Victims/survivors are cautiously optimistic

 Governor Cuomo also favors a one-year look back window in which any child who was sexually abused in New York State will have one year to file a claim against his/her abuser

 The Child Victims’ Act must be passed in 2017 by the New York State Legislature

 What
A demonstration to support and affirm Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent commitment to make the Child Victims’ Act the law in the State of New York.  Demonstrators will call on the members of the New York Senate and Assembly to pass the bill that includes:

1) NO CRIMINAL STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON SEX CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN, and;

2) A ONE-YEAR WINDOW TO ALLOW THOSE WHO WERE SEXUALLY ABUSED AS CHILDREN TO HOLD THEIR ABUSERS ACCOUNTABLE IN CIVIL COURTS

 When
Friday, January 13, 2017 from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of the New York City Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo, 633 Third Avenue (between 40th and 41st Streets), Manhattan, 10017

Who
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, and a victim/survivor of sexual abuse in four different

New York State counties, and:

Cecilia Springer, an 85 year-old sexual abuse victim of her high school Principal, Sr. Mary Andrew, SU, at Notre Dame School on West 79th Street, Manhattan, in the 1940s. 

Why
Victims/survivors of sexual abuse in New York State have been given hope that the Child Victims’ Act will finally become law now that Governor Andrew Cuomo has expressed his support of it.  Victims/survivors have fought for justice for decades, and it appears that there might be hope in 2017 for the passage of the bill.  Demonstrators will express their support of Governor Cuomo in his quest to get the Child Victims’ Act signed into law.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 roberthoatson@gmail.com

Cecilia Springer, Victim/Survivor
Outside the New York City Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo, 633 Third Avenue, NYC

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News Article and Video from MY 9NJ.com  on the Installation of Cardinal Joseph William Tobin

New archbishop in Newark

Joseph Cardinal Tobin was installed as the Newark archbishop.

Click for Video

Newark was overrun by joy on Friday with the installation of the new archbishop of Newark.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin was handpicked by Pope Francis, making him the first cardinal named to the post in 163 years. Tobin succeeds Archbishop John Myers.

 Churchgoers came to welcome their new leader, along with some of New Jersey’s political elite including Gov. Chris Christie and U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez.

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Demonstration at the Installation of Cardinal Joseph William Tobin

Friday, January 6, 2017


Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart


Cardinal Joseph William Tobin

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News Article from
SCN

Sexual abuse still persists fifteen years after Spotlight, attorney and source argues

 

Fifteen years after the Boston Globe’s Spotlight series uncovered the widespread sexual abuse of Catholic priest — and more than a year after it became a highly acclaimed film on the big screen — the issue of priest molesting children still exists throughout Massachusetts and worldwide.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian and members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) held a press conference to shed light on the Catholic church’s lack of transparency and cooperation in dealing with these cases and more recent accusations of abuse.

“Pope Francis is making compassionate statements but it’s not being followed with compassionate activity,” Garabedian, who helped the Globe expose the Catholic church in its 2002 Spotlight reports, told the audience. “Transparency is necessary. The records have to be released for this to begin to end.”

Garabedian said he is handling 49 cases in Connecticut’s federal court alone against Douglas Perlitz, a Jesuit priest at Fairfield University who is accused of sexually abusing children at a school in Haiti. He’s also received calls across the country about abuse from other priests.

“Documents around the country have been produced through litigation indicating that supervisors of pedophile priests knew what was going on and did nothing about it and hid it,” Garabedian said. “It’s time for transparency so the victims can try to heal and gain a degree of closure.”

Barbara Dorris, the victims outreach director of SNAP and a survivor of clergy sexual assault, said she also receives many calls, some from teens, particularly since the release of the movie Spotlight.

“You may think your kids are safe. You may think this crisis is over, but I would say to you please, please be vigilant. This is not over. I talk to teenagers now. This is not over. We need to make changes so the kids are safe,” Dorris said.

Garabedian went on to suggest that statute of limitation laws for all kinds of sexual abuse be lifted as they are with murder cases. The statute in Massachusetts is 52 or younger.

He also said that the church needs to be more accountable, keep a watchful eye over its communities and set up workshops with survivors to better prevent abuse from occurring.

Garabedian is currently working with sexual abuse survivor and North Andover resident Bassam Haddad, a father of two and a victim of Father Ross Frey, who went on to share his story.

“I was a victim from about the age of 13 to close to 18 by Father Ross Frey at St. Joseph’s in Lawrence, and when I came forward in 2012 I actually told my wife and she said we need to speak to attorney Mitchell Garabedian,” an emotional Haddad said.

Father Frey was sent to Lebanon after eleven victims and Haddad came forward in the 90s, where he could not be extradited and where he later died. Years of keeping the abuse from his family made Haddad suicidal, particularly knowing that the church wouldn’t help him.

“My kids were in a Catholic school and the first thing the principal said to me when they found out, she came forward to me and said, ‘Don’t worry. This won’t happen to your kids. We keep a close eye on the priests here.’ This is what a principal said to me,” Haddad said before breaking out into tears.

Garabedian said that what had changed in the 15 years since he worked with the Globe on uncovering this systemic problem in the Catholic church was people’s attitude toward the issue, which he credited the film Spotlight for contributing to that change. The overall problem though, Garabedian argued, still lies with the mindset of the church itself.

“Victims need to hear that the sexual abuse was not the victim’s fault,” Garabedian said. “And the way they hear that is to hear the truth, through transparency and through documentation. Not slogans about how priests care for children and they’re going to help children in the future, but through evidence, through documentation, through the real deal.”

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MEDIA RELEASE – JANUARY 4, 2017

PRESS CONFERENCE ON JANUARY 5, 2017

THIS IS THE FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BOSTON GLOBE “SPOTLIGHT TEAM” COVERAGE OF THE CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE SCANDAL IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON, MA (2002-2017)

 VICTIMS/SURVIVORS, ADVOCATES, AND AN ATTORNEY WILL DISCUSS THE CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE CRISIS IN THE BOSTON ARCHDIOCESE AND WORLDWIDE, INCLUDING ITS HISTORY DURING THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS, ITS PRESENT STATE, WHERE IT IS HEADED, AND WHY IT HAS NOT ENDED

 What
A press conference featuring victims/survivors , advocates, and an attorney who will discuss the state of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Archdiocese of Boston and worldwide, including its history, the present state, where it is headed, and why the Catholic Church has not been successful in ending it

When
Thursday, January 5, 2017, at 11:15 am

Where
Hilton Hotel, 89 Broad Street, Boston, MA 02110

Who
Robert Costello, victim/survivor of a Boston Archdiocesan priest

Barbara Dorris, St. Louis, MO, a victim/survivor of clergy abuse, who is the Victims Outreach Director for SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, based in Chicago, IL

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, whose information about the “secret files” of the Archdiocese of Boston made it possible for the Boston Globe to uncover and publish hundreds of stories about them, and who is featured in the movie, Spotlight, portrayed by actor Stanley Tucci

Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity that assists sexual abuse victims, based in Livingston, NJ; former religious brother and priest; a victim/survivor of sexual abuse in Boston by an Irish Christian Brother, and former Headmaster of Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, MA, who blew the whistle on sexual abuse by a Boston priest in 1981 but was ignored

Why
Despite rhetoric and promises, the Catholic Church has not made significant progress in its efforts to eradicate clergy sexual abuse.  Pope Francis’ promise of zero tolerance of clergy sexual abuse has not been realized.  In addition, his pledge to fire bishops who have mishandled and covered-up sexual abuse cases has not been fulfilled, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the Pope’s special consultant on clergy sexual abuse, has not been transparent and open about clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston and in his role as head of the worldwide Papal Commission on Sexual Abuse.

 Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc., 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA. – 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

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Video from 

Leominster Man Held On $1 Million Bail In North End Stabbing

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Video from WESTERN MASS NEWS

Group asks for settlement in abuse claim against Deerfield Academy

Click the link below to view video

http://www.westernmassnews.com/clip/12962353/group-asks-for-settlement-in-abuse-claim-against-deerfield-academy

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News Article from

Three decades later, Altoona–Johnstown diocese doesn’t object to the release of information in abuse cases

After the passage of three decades – and the release of a scathing report by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General that provided details about an alleged cover-up of rampant child sexual abuse within its ranks – the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown changed positions as to whether information in a civil litigation against Msgr. Francis McCaa should be made public.

In 1986, counsel for the monsignor, diocese, former Bishop James Hogan, and Holy Name Catholic Church in Ebensburg argued that pretrial documents – in a case brought by four plaintiffs – should be sealed in order to “prevent serious and irreparable harm to the defendants through the disclosure of information which may not be relevant or admissible at the trial of the case,” as described in the papers.

But, when The Tribune-Democrat sought to have the documents unsealed this year, the diocese did not resist, so long as the accusers’ names were redacted.

 

“Their policy now is to be as transparent as possible without hurting someone else,” Eric Anderson, an attorney for the diocese, said.

Michael Sahlaney, a lawyer who handled the action for the newspaper, complimented the diocese for not fighting the legal action.

“The diocese, I want to give them credit,” he said. “They were very open. They had no objection to the file being open at this time. It is what it is.”

But he added: “They have a terrible history, but we’ve got to give them credit where credit is due.”

‘Right to know’

The diocese points to this action as evidence of an ongoing effort to become more open in dealing with accusations of abuse.

The McCaa case decision came after the release of the AG’s report, which outlined its findings that the diocese had protected at least 50 priests and other religious leaders under the direction of Hogan and Bishop Joseph Adamec.

However, the McCaa documents were not released until The Tribune-Democrat pursued the matter.

“Given the scope and severity of findings in the attorney general’s report, we believed the McCaa files would contain information that the community had a right to know, and also information that might shed further light on events connected with the issue of child sexual abuse within the diocese,” Chip Minemyer, the newspaper’s editor, said. 

“The courts clearly agreed, and approved our request to have the case unsealed.

“As we noted in our petition to open these records, the issue of clerical abuse of minors and the processes by which those situations were handled constitute a matter of significant public concern.”

Since the report was released in March, the Altoona-Johnstown diocese has publicized a list of priests who have had credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors made against them. There are 22 priests on the current list: 16 deceased, three laicized, two removed from public ministry, one incarcerated.

Bishop Mark Bartchak publicly apologized to the victims and held prayer services. 

‘Children in our church’

The diocese, though, has often been hesitant to discuss the abuse scandal, since there are ongoing legal matters, including a case against three former minister provincials from the Third Order Regular, Province of the Immaculate Conception.

The Franciscans are accused of putting the late Brother Stephen Baker in positions – including at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown – where he had access to children, even though, as the state contends, they knew he was an alleged pedophile.

The attorney general’s office still considers the investigation to be open. The three Franciscans are expected to face trial in 2017.

“The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown continues to be the subject of an ongoing investigation, and we cannot discuss matters related to that investigation,” Tony DeGol, a spokesman for the diocese, said. “As always, our thoughts and prayers are with all victims of sexual abuse. Bishop Bartchak remains committed to helping those who were harmed and ensuring the safety of all children in our church.”

Critics claim not enough is being done.

 Less than two weeks ago, Road to Recovery, a nonprofit support group for victims, held a press conference outside Bishop McCort, where Baker allegedly abused dozens of boys when he served there as an athletic trainer and in other roles.

The organization’s co-founder, Robert Hoatson, accused the diocese and Franciscan order of refusing to, in his opinion, justly and fairly settle the claim of an unnamed victim, who was allegedly abused by Baker from approximately 1996 to 1998 when a student at Bishop McCort.

“When the spotlight is on the diocese – for example, when the attorney general was doing her investigation, and when they started to indict priests, and then when they came out with the report of the 50 or so priests who had abused in the diocese – oh, then Bishop Bartchak was so welcoming and so hospitable,” Hoatson said. 

“And, as soon as the spotlight is turned off, they seem to go right back into their usual modus operandi, which is secrecy, which is cover up, which is then to ignore the victims. 

“That’s what we’re experiencing again. So we’re going to keep coming. We’re going to keep coming and shedding the light on this because this can’t continue.” 

‘Spin control’?

Boston-based attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents the alleged victim, said his client is being re-victimized by the diocese and Franciscan order.

“These cases are never really about money,” Garabedian said. “They’re about validation.”

Garabedian, one of the nation’s leading legal representatives for victims of child sexual abuse, who played a major role in exposing a cover-up within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, describes the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese’s willingness to not fight release of the McCaa documents as “spin control.”

“The diocese is concerned about its public image,” Garabedian said.

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Media Release – December 10, 2016

Jamaican girl sexually abused by New York-based Franciscan priest, Fr. Paul A. Walsh, OFM, a/k/a Fr. La Salle Walsh, has asked the Franciscan Friars for help so she can heal.  The Franciscan Friars have told her to “take a hike”

 Franciscan Friars of the Holy Name Province, based in Manhattan with parishes and ministries throughout the NY City/northern New Jersey metropolitan area, refuse to help a Jamaican woman even with the costs of counseling so she can begin to heal.  She was sexually abused by a Franciscan missionary when she was approximately 10 years old in Kingston, Jamaica

What
Demonstration and leafleting in Northern NJ alerting the media, parishioners, and ordinary citizens of the refusal of the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Name Province, based on West 31st Street, Manhattan, to help a Jamaican childhood sexual abuse victim of Fr. Paul A. Walsh, heal

When
Sunday, December 11, 2016 – 6:00 am until 9:00 am

Where
On the public sidewalk and alongside a procession for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe beginning at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 65 Bartholdi Avenue, Butler, NJ, as the procession makes its way through the Town of Butler, and on to St. Mary’s Parish, Pompton Lakes, NJ, where a 9:00 am Mass will be held

Who
Members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a New Jersey-based non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including its co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.

Why
The Franciscan Friars of the Holy Name Province, based in Manhattan, refuse to assist in the recovery of a childhood sexual abuse victim of one of their priests, Fr. Paul A. Walsh, OFM.  This Kingston, Jamaica, woman was a little girl of approximately ten years old at Our Lady of Angels Parish and School in Kingston, Jamaica, when Fr. Paul A. Walsh, OFM, also known as Fr. La Salle Walsh, sexually abused her.  This innocent victim wants to heal, but the Franciscan Friars have told her to “take a hike,” refusing, even, to help her with the costs of counseling.  Demonstrators will call upon parishioners of Franciscan parishes in Butler and Pompton Lakes, NJ, and ordinary citizens to demand of the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Name Province that they do the right thing and help this Jamaican woman heal.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

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DEMONSTRATION OUTSIDE FORDHAM UNIVERSITY, BRONX, NY
THURSDAY, DECEMBER, 2016

           
(Left to Right) Victim/Survivor Neal Gumpel, his wife Helen and Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President and Co-Founder of Road to Recovery

     

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DEMONSTRATION OUTSIDE ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI, MANHATTAN

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2016


Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President and Co-Founder of Road to Recovery

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MEDIA RELEASE – DECEMBER 9, 2016

Deerfield Academy continues to re-victimize a childhood sexual abuse victim of a former Deerfield Academy teacher, coach, dormitory supervisor, counselor, and supervisor, Peter Hindle, by not acting reasonably and justly in settling his claim and allowing him to heal

 “John Doe,” a former Deerfield Academy student who filed a civil lawsuit on September 8, 2016, in Bristol County, MA, Superior Court, against former Deerfield Academy teacher, Peter Hindle, was sexually abused by Peter Hindle, in approximately 1986, when “John Doe” was approximately 16 years of age. 

What
A press conference announcing that Deerfield Academy, located in Franklin County, MA, which employed sexual abuser, Peter Hindle, from approximately 1956-2000, as a teacher, coach, dormitory supervisor, counselor, and supervisor, is not acting reasonably and fairly in settling a sexual abuse claim of “John Doe”

When
Friday, December 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Where
On the public sidewalk outside the main entrance of Deerfield Academy, 7 Boyden Lane, Deerfield, MA 01342

Who
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why
Recent talks to settle the sexual abuse claim of “John Doe,” who attended Deerfield Academy from approximately 1984-1987, and was sexually abused by former Deerfield Academy teacher, Peter Hindle, were unsuccessful because Deerfield Academy is not acting fairly and reasonably in negotiations to settle his claim, causing him to be re-victimized and delaying his attempts to heal.  Peter Hindle was a serial sexual abuser of minor children at Deerfield Academy, and it is believed that other adults at Deerfield Academy knew about Peter Hindle’s sexual abuse of minor children.  Deerfield Academy will be called upon to stop dragging its feet, settle “John Doe’s” claim fairly and reasonably, and allow him to heal.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc., 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

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News Article From

Essex News Daily

West Orange native, former priest to run for NJ governor

wo-robert-hoatson-c-e1480618309525-570x511

WEST ORANGE, NJ — A West Orange native has thrown his hat into the ring for New Jersey’s gubernatorial race roughly a year before the 2017 election.

Robert Hoatson, a former priest who now runs the Road to Recovery nonprofit organization, which assists sexual abuse victims, announced his intention to run in the Democratic primary during an event at the Wilshire Grand Hotel on Nov. 15. Hoatson acknowledged he face an uphill battle, as former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy has already scored the backing of numerous state leaders and recently loaned his campaign $10 million of his own money. But the resident said he is running to stop the Democratic Party from becoming an arm for the elites.

“We seem to be electing fewer and fewer leaders and more demigods and managers and people who can buy elections,” Hoatson told the West Orange Chronicle in a Nov. 25 phone interview. “What is happening now is that government seems to be a way to either develop a career and/or accumulate a lot of money. And I don’t think that’s what civil service is meant for.”

In addition to Hoatson and Murphy, the Democratic primary race so far includes former U.S. Undersecretary of the Treasury for Enforcement Jim Johnson and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Bridgegate investigator. On the Republican side, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and entrepreneur Joseph Rudy Rullo have declared they will run.

Hoatson ran unsuccessfully for the West Orange Township Council in 2014, a race in which seven candidates ran for two open seats eventually re-filled by the incumbents; he came in fifth place.

Hoatson promised that as governor he would focus solely on helping those in need and to do so, he said he will first have to change the way Trenton operates. To start, he said he would hold application processes for all governor-appointed positions instead of hiring cronies catering to special interests. Additionally, Hoatson said he would push to impose term limits for all municipal, state and federal elected leaders so that the “career politician” ceases to exist.  

He added that he would meet regularly with regular citizens to learn about their needs and work hard to meet them. After all, he said, the people should be the priority of any governor.

“When push comes to shove, what we’re serving is not the government,” Hoatson said. “What we’re serving is people.”

One way Hoatson plans to benefit New Jerseyans, if elected, is to help the economy. U.S. Census data shows the state poverty rate was 10.8 percent last year. That data also shows that the household median income for New Jersey residents only increased by 0.3 percent in 2015, which is a smaller increase than in any other state. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the state’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in October, higher than the national rate of 4.9 percent.

To create jobs, Hoatson said he would focus on improving New Jersey’s infrastructure, which received a “D-” on its 2016 report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers. People can find work fixing the state’s bridges and roads, he said, and in turn the state will gain infrastructure that can attract businesses. He added that he would also establish a task force to look into why corporations are leaving the state when its location between the major cities of New York, Philadelphia and Boston should make it an ideal home for them.

Hoatson said he would also eliminate wasteful spending, cut political patronage jobs to save funds, and do away with the state’s tax-exempt status for charitable and religious organizations so everyone pays their fair share.

“Has anybody ever seen a poor minister in the state of New Jersey?” Hoatson said. “Here you have these inner-city churches where the minister is driving around in a Cadillac and has a $100,000 a year job. To me, a lot of the churches in the state have a lot of money. Now, I’m not saying we should tax them at the same amount as profit-bearing companies, but I think we all should have to pay taxes.”

While these measures are intended to save the state money, Hoatson also wants to make sure residents are getting paid more, so he would call for a $15 minimum wage, if elected.

Another area Hoatson would work to improve is education. As a priest and an Irish Christian Brother, he worked as a middle and high school teacher, and as principal at Hackensack’s Holy Trinity School as well as director of schools for Newark’s Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish. He also helped found the Catholic Urban Educators group in the 1980s.

If elected, Hoatson said he would offer funding to any educators willing to start charter schools in the inner cities, saying, “I want good teachers and creative teachers to take the bull by the horns and create the best learning environments for kids. Very often we just spend too much time creating these mega structures and they end up not as effective because the community and the teaching staffs were not involved with the planning. I think when you involve the people who are receiving the services, then you’re going to come up with a much better product.”

As for higher education, Hoatson said he would raise taxes on the wealthy and major corporations in order to offer free tuition to community colleges and reduced tuition to Rutgers University for in-state students. He also wants to urge Rutgers to leave the Big 10 so it can return its focus to academics, funneling the millions it now spends on sports toward scholarships and reduced tuition instead and opening locations in other areas of the state.

Of course, none of these ideas will come to pass if Hoatson is not elected. He said he has reached out to several party leaders but no one agreed to meet with him. So, to secure the nomination, he said he will run a grassroots campaign funded solely by donations from supporters and looks forward to traveling the state and talking with as many citizens as possible to generate support.

Hoatson has a loyal following in West Orange, where he has lived for most of his life. Anita Strauss said she has watched him grow up and has no hesitation supporting him for governor.

“He’s such a wonderful human being,” Strauss told the Chronicle in a Nov. 26 phone interview. “He has the kind of attributes that I would like to see in a governor — honesty, integrity, intelligence, a sense of justice and a feeling of compassion for all. He’s just a super human being. And he’s always giving.”

Bob Sforza, another West Orange supporter, agreed that much of the state’s infrastructure needs to be upgraded, and said he likes Hoatson’s education ideas, pointing out that poverty cannot be solved without good schooling.

“Despite the odds, I think he’d make a tremendous governor,” Sforza told the Chronicle in a Nov. 25 phone interview.

Even with this homegrown support, Hoatson still has a long road ahead of him. According to Matthew Hale, an associate professor for Seton Hall University’s Department of Political Science and Public Affairs, the support of county party leaders is crucial for anyone running for office in New Jersey. And Murphy has done a “masterful” job doing so, Hale said.

Money is also essential to any political campaign, Hale said, adding that he thinks a former priest may not have the enormous personal wealth of a former Goldman Sachs executive. The professor said Murphy, a multimillionaire, has been campaigning on a platform geared directly toward helping the lower and middle classes, like overshadowing Hoatson’s similar ideas, which does not bode well for his chances.

“It seems like it’s a folly to think that a candidate could compete under those terms,” Hale told the Chronicle in a Nov. 28 phone interview. “That being said, I think a lot of people didn’t expect Bernie Sanders to do as well as he did against Hillary Clinton, and certainly no one expected Donald Trump to win. But I think it’s incredibly difficult and in many ways different than either of those examples for this candidate to run in New Jersey, where structure matters a lot more than it does on the national stage.”

Neither the Murphy campaign nor the New Jersey State Democratic Committee responded to requests for comment before press time Nov. 29.

The odds may be against him, but Hoatson said he is up to the challenge. He pointed out he spent nearly 40 years within the Catholic Church trying to combat clergy abuse and, after experiencing blowback that resulted in him leaving the Church in 2011, continues to demand that pedophile priests be held accountable for their actions through his organization. With that experience, he said he is well-prepared to reform New Jersey’s government as well.

“I’ve already taken on the largest bureaucracy in the world,” Hoatson said, referring to the Catholic Church. “I’ve spent my life trying to clean things up, so to speak. And if New Jersey doesn’t need a cleaning up, I don’t know what does.”

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News Article from

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Victims advocate: Altoona-Johnstown diocese ‘retrenching’ in wake of abuse report

  • An alleged victim of child sexual abuse, who came forward shortly after a grand jury report was released that accused the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown of orchestrating a decades-long coverup of pedophilia within its ranks, now finds himself at odds with the diocese over a proposed settlement.The now 34-year-old man claims he was abused by Brother Stephen Baker from approximately 1996 to 1998 ,when both were at what was then called Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown.
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  • Robert Hoatson, co-founder of Road to Recovery, a support group for victims, said a settlement offer has been made by the diocese and Third Order Regular, Province of the Immaculate Conception, which assigned Baker to Bishop McCort. But Hoatson described the amount as “peanuts.”

    Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston-based lawyer who represents the accuser, said, “The diocese and the Franciscans are re-victimizing my client.”

    He accused the diocese of acting in an “extremely non-pastoral way.”

    Hoatson blames Bishop Mark Bartchak for, in his opinion, not living up to his promise to help victims.

    “For the last year and a half or so, Bishop Bartchak has been actually sending out a regular appeal to victims to come forward, especially those who have been abused by priests and religious leaders,” Hoatson said during a press conference held across the street from Bishop McCort on Tuesday.

    “Of course, we know that Brother Stephen Baker (was) perhaps the most prolific abuser here in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. Well, a young man, 34 years old, answered the call of Bishop Bartchak to come forward. Bishop Bartchak has promised that the victims will receive a warm welcome, that they will be helped, that their needs will be met. And we’re finding just the opposite once again. The church is retrenching.”

    The accuser, whose name has been withheld, came forward on March 7.

    On March 1, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General issued a grand jury report in which it accused the diocese of protecting at least 50 priests and other religious leaders accused of sexually abusing children.

    Baker allegedly abused dozens of children during his time at Bishop McCort, from 1992 through 2001.

    The AG’s investigation into the diocese is still considered to be open.

    “The diocese does not comment on the details of settlements, nor can we discuss any matter related to the ongoing investigation of the diocese,” Tony DeGol, secretary for communications, wrote in an email. “As always, we offer our continued prayers and support to anyone who has been harmed in the church.”

    Thomas Farrell, an attorney representing the order, could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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MEDIA RELEASE – NOVEMBER 28, 2016

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania continue to disrespect a childhood sexual abuse victim of Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR, a deceased serial pedophile and member of the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania, who served in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, by not reasonably settling his claim

 A childhood sexual abuse victim of Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR, from Bishop Mc Cort High School, Johnstown, PA, is being re-victimized and prevented from healing by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania, because they are not acting reasonably in the settling of his claim

What
A press conference announcing that the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania refuse to justly and fairly settle the claim of a childhood sexual abuse victim of Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR, from Bishop Mc Cort High School, Johnstown, PA, causing the childhood sexual abuse victim to be re-victimized, prevented from healing, and feeling disrespected

When
Tuesday, November 29, 2016, at 11:30 am

Where
On the public sidewalk across from the front entrance of Bishop Mc Court High School, 25 Osborne Street, Johnstown, PA 15905

Who
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including several childhood sexual abuse victims of Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR, in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

Why
John Doe was a minor child attending Bishop Mc Cort High School in Johnstown, PA, when he met a serial pedophile, Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR.  From approximately 1996-1998, when he was approximately 15-17 years old and a student at Bishop Mc Cort High School, John Doe was repeatedly sexually abused by Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR.  Now, at age 34, John Doe has courageously come forward to report the sexual abuse that caused him great harm.  He expected to receive a timely and fair response from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania.  Instead, the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular Pennsylvania have been unfair and unjust in settling John Doe’s claim, causing him to feel re-victimized, and disrespected, thus preventing him from healing.  The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania will be called upon to settle John Doe’s claim in a timely, fair, and just manner, and allow “John Doe” to heal.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250garabedianlaw@msn.com

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MEDIA RELEASE – NOVEMBER 26, 2016

Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s financial compensation program for victims of sexual abuse by New York Archdiocesan clergy does not include victims of sexual abuse by nuns, religious brothers, lay employees and volunteers who serve or have served in the Archdiocese of New York

Nuns, religious brothers, lay employees and volunteers who sexually abused children in the Archdiocese of New York must be held accountable through the New York Archdiocesan sexual abuse compensation program so that all childhood sexual abuse victims in the Archdiocese of New York have the opportunity to heal

Two childhood victims of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of New York, one by a religious sister (nun), and another by a Catholic high school lay teacher, will demand that their sexual abuse claims be included in the financial compensation program of the Archdiocese of New York

 What
A demonstration and press conference demanding that Cardinal Timothy Dolan revise his financial compensation program for childhood victims of sexual abuse by Archdiocese of New York clergy to include childhood sexual abuse victims of nuns, religious brothers, lay employees and volunteers who serve or have served in the Archdiocese of New York

When
Sunday, November 27, 2016 from 10:30 am until Noon (Cardinal Dolan is the usual presider at the 10:15 am Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral) – Press conference at 11:15 am

Where
On the public sidewalk outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fifth Avenue between East 50th and East 51st Streets, New York, New York 10022

Who and Why

Cecilia Springer, an 85 year-old childhood sexual abuse victim of her high school Principal, Sr. Mary Andrew, S.U., at Notre Dame School, Manhattan, in 1945.  She reported the sexual abuse by Sr. Mary Andrew, S.U., to officials of Notre Dame School and the Sisters of St. Ursula, who impolitely told her to take a hike.  They have refused to help her.

Michael Meenan, who attended Fordham Prep School, the Bronx, in the 1980s and was sexually abused by a lay teacher of Fordham Prep, Fernand Beck, at a graduation party in Westchester County, New York.  Michael Meenan reported the sexual abuse by the teacher to an official of the school, but that official did nothing about it.  Recently, Michael Meenan met with lawyers and officials of Fordham Prep School, and they have yet to offer Michael any assistance.

Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, and a victim of sexual abuse by three Irish Christian Brothers in the Archdiocese of New York
Cecilia Springer and Michael Meenan will demand of Cardinal Timothy Dolan that he:

1)         Include childhood sexual abuse victims of religious order men (priests, deacons, and brothers), religious order women (nuns), and all lay employees and volunteers who serve or   have served in the Archdiocese of New York in the financial compensation program for      sexual abuse victims sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York

2)         Allow all childhood sexual abuse victims in the Archdiocese of New York to try to heal by being included in the Archdiocese of New York compensation program.

 Contacts
Robert M.  Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

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Cecilia Springer, 85 year-old childhood sexual abuse victim

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Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President and Co-Founder of Road to Recovery

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MEDIA RELEASE – NOVEMBER 22, 2016

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania continue to disrespect a childhood sexual abuse victim of Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR, a deceased serial pedophile and member of the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania, who served in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, by not reasonably settling his claim

A childhood sexual abuse victim of Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR, from Bishop Mc Cort High School, Johnstown, PA, is being re-victimized and prevented from healing by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania, because they are not acting reasonably in the settling of his claim

What
A press conference announcing that the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania refuse to justly and fairly settle the claim of a childhood sexual abuse victim of Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR, from Bishop Mc Cort High School, Johnstown, PA, causing the childhood sexual abuse victim to be re-victimized, feel disrespected, and prevented from healing

When
Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at 11:30 am

Where
In front of the headquarters of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, 927 S. Logan Boulevard, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648 – 814-695-5579

Who
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including several childhood sexual abuse victims of Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR, in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

Why
John Doe was a minor child attending Bishop Mc Cort High School in Johnstown, PA, when he met a serial pedophile, Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR.  From approximately 1996-1998, when he was approximately 15-17 years old and a student at Bishop Mc Cort High School, John Doe was repeatedly sexually abused by Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR.  Now, at age 34, John Doe has courageously come forward to report the sexual abuse that caused him great harm.  He expected to receive a timely and fair response from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania.  Instead, the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular Pennsylvania have been unfair and unjust in settling John Doe’s claim, causing him to feel re-victimized, and disrespected, thus preventing him from healing.  The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania will be called upon to settle John Doe’s claim in a timely, fair, and just manner, and allow “John Doe” to heal.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

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MEDIA RELEASE – NOVEMBER 17, 2016

Clergy sexual abuse victim, Neal E. Gumpel, his wife, and supporters to demonstrate at Fordham University and Fordham Prep in the Bronx in the aftermath of a Business Insider article (http://www.businessinsider.com/catholic-church-sexual-abuse-victims-compensation-fund-2016-11) that told his story of sexual abuse by a Catholic Jesuit priest, Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, a deceased Fordham Prep and Fordham University teacher and professor, who has been previously identified as a sexual abuser, and the refusal of the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), Fordham University, and Fordham Prep to fairly compensate him.  After an investigation, Mr. Gumple was found to be credible by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) with regard to his claim.

Business Insider, the largest business news site on the web, published an article during the week of November 14, 2016, entitled, “The Catholic Church has a plan to compensate sexual-abuse victims, but many will get nothing.”  It described the compensation plan of the Archdiocese of New York which assists victims of clergy (Archdiocesan priests and deacons only) sexual abuse but does not include sexual abuse victims of religious order priests, sisters (nuns), brothers, deacons, and all lay Church employees who work or have worked in the Archdiocese of New York with the express consent of the Cardinal/Archbishop of New York.

Demonstrators will urge Fordham University and Fordham Prep students, faculty, administrators, and the general public to demand that Fordham University, Fordham Prep, and the Society of Jesus do the right thing by fairly and justly compensating sexual abuse victims of Jesuit priests, like Neal E. Gumpel, whose allegations of sexual abuse by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, have been found credible.  In addition, Cardinal Timothy Dolan must demand of religious orders that they fairly and justly compensate sexual abuse victims of their members and lay employees or else they may not serve in the Archdiocese of New York

What and Why
A demonstration and leafleting alerting faculty, students, administrators, and the general public about the unfair and re-victimizing policy of the Archdiocese of New York to NOT include in its recently-announced compensation program for victims of Archdiocese of New York clergy, sexual abuse victims of religious order personnel, like Jesuits, who sexually abused children; and the unfair and re-victimizing policy of the Society of Jesus, Fordham University, and Fordham Prep NOT to compensate a sexual abuse victim of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, previously identified as a sexual abuser, Neal E. Gumpel, whose allegations have been found credible by the Society of Jesus, Fordham University, and Fordham Prep

When
Friday, November 18, 2016 from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm

Where
Outside the main gates of Fordham University and Fordham Prep, 400 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY (near the entrance of the New York Botanical Garden)

Who
Neal E. Gumpel, his wife, Helen, and Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Contact
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

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FROM THE

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Reconciliation and Compensation Program for Victim-Survivors of Abuse

  • The Archdiocese of New York has announced another step in its ongoing efforts to respond to the past scourge of sexual abuse of minors by clergy with the establishment of a voluntary Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) that will seek to promote healing and bring closure by providing compensation to victim-survivors of abuse by priests or deacons of the archdiocese. 

    The program, to be administered by the renowned mediator Mr. Kenneth Feinberg, was put into place by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York.  The archdiocese has already begun reaching out to those victim-survivors who have previously notified the archdiocese that they had suffered abuse by a member of the clergy of the archdiocese in order to invite them to participate in Phase 1 of the program.  Mr. Feinberg and his colleague, Ms. Camille Biros, will have complete autonomy in deciding compensation for victim-survivors, and the archdiocese has agreed that it will abide by their decisions.

    Former Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska, and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Jeanette Cueva, M.D., an expert in child psychiatry, have agreed to serve as an Independent Oversight Committee, to oversee the implementation and administration of the IRCP.  Commissioner Kelly, Judge Preska, and Dr. Cueva have reviewed and approved the protocols of the IRCP, and they will continue to oversee the implementation and administration  of the program, although the decisions reached by Mr. Feinberg and Ms. Biros regarding compensation to victim-survivors are final and cannot be appealed or overturned by the archdiocese or the Independent Oversight Committee.

    In announcing the IRCP, Cardinal Dolan said “The program we are establishing today will, please God, help bring a measure of peace and healing to those who have suffered abuse by a member of the clergy of this archdiocese.  While the Church, particularly here in New York, has made great strides in working with the ten district attorneys who serve in this archdiocese and in dismissing clergy found guilty of abuse, as well as in preventing acts of abuse through our Safe Environment programs, we continue to hear from victim-survivors that more needs to be done to reach out to those who have been hurt in the past.  We have been told, time and again, by victim-survivors that they are not principally interested in money, but instead are seeking some tangible sign of the Church’s desire for healing and reconciliation. As this Year of Mercy nears its conclusion, it is only appropriate that we take this opportunity to follow Pope Francis and once again ask forgiveness for whatever mistakes may have been made in the past by those representing the Church, even by us bishops, and continue to seek reconciliation with those who have been harmed and feel alienated from the Church.”

    “I wish to thank Mr. Feinberg and his colleague, Ms. Camille Biros, for taking on this assignment, and pledge to them that the archdiocese will respect and honor any decision they make regarding compensation for those who suffered abuse by a member of the clergy of this archdiocese.  I am also grateful to Commissioner Kelly, Judge Preska, and Dr. Cueva for their leadership and service,” the cardinal concluded.

    “As we begin this assignment, we are pleased to work with Cardinal Dolan, and the IRCP Independent Oversight Committee. We hope the program will be successful and that any victims of abuse come forward in a timely fashion to seek compensation through this independent program,” said Mr. Feinberg.

    Commissioner Kelly, who is serving as chair of the Independent Oversight Committee, said, “I commend Cardinal Dolan for his proactive leadership in redressing the wrongs committed in the past by some clergy in the New York Archdiocese. I’m honored to support the IRCP as it seeks to provide justice and restitution to victims of abuse.”

    After Mr. Feinberg and Ms. Biros have completed Phase I, they will begin Phase II, to review new allegations brought against known offenders as well as new allegations brought against clergy who have not previously been alleged to have engaged in misbehavior.  Anyone bringing forward a new allegation will be required to follow the policy of the archdiocese to notify the appropriate district attorney’s office, so that they might determine if a crime has been committed.  Such allegations will also be investigated by independent professionals and examined by the archdiocesan lay review board. 

    The archdiocese will take a long-term loan to cover the cost of compensating victim-survivors.  The archdiocese will not use money given by the people of the archdiocese to support parishes, schools, and charitable works, nor will it use funds from the annual Cardinal’s Stewardship Appeal, the newly initiated capital campaign Renew and Rebuild, or money given by a donor for a specific ministry or apostolate. 

  • Individuals who wish to learn more about the
    Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program can visit
    www.NYArchdiocese-IRCPSettlementProgram.com

 

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News Article from

BUSINESS INSIDER POLITICS

The Catholic Church has a plan to compensate sexual-abuse victims, but many will get nothing

archbishop timothy michael dolan Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York. AP

Neal Gumpel, a 59-year-old screenwriter, said he was elated when he heard in October that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, announced that the church was setting up a fund to compensate sexual-abuse victims. Gumpel said that when he was 16 the Rev. Roy Drake, a Jesuit priest, sexually assaulted him.

The program, called the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP), is intended to “bring a measure of peace and healing to those who have suffered abuse,” Dolan said.

The IRCP has many phases. The first, which spans from October to January, covers only those who had previously filed claims of sexual abuse against the church. The second phase, for which an implementation date has not been announced, will cover new claims filed against clergy members.

“I thought, finally, they’re acknowledging the victims,” Gumpel told Business Insider. “Finally, they’re admitting the pain they’ve caused us, not just by abusing us, but by turning their backs on us when we tried to come forward.”

But then he heard the bad news. Gumpel’s claims would not be covered and he would not receive a public acknowledgement from the church.

The IRCP only covers people abused by diocesan priests and deacons, leaving out victims of religious order members, such as Jesuits, Franciscans, Benedictines, and others, and church employees, like choirmasters and coaches, claiming that religious order members do not fall under the archdiocese’s purview.

The reason why comes down to a technicality, according to the church.

Although clerics from religious orders, like Drake, have to secure the permission of the archbishop of New York to function as a priest at any Catholic parish, school, or institution in the diocese, canon law stipulates that the bishop isn’t liable for what clerics do outside of “sacramental duties,” such as hearing confession and marrying couples, Edward Mechmann, a civil attorney and head of the New York Archdiocese’s Child Protection Office, told Business Insider.

That’s why Dolan’s fund doesn’t cover victims abused by religious order members.

As of 2013, 79% of officials in the New York Archdiocese — which includes diocesan priests, deacons, religious priests, brothers, and sisters — are from religious orders.

‘Never seen anything like it’

Neal Gumpel Helen Gumpel Neal Gumpel, right, and his wife, Helen, regularly demonstrate against the church and Society of Jesus outside the gates of Fordham University, a Jesuit school in the Bronx, New York. Neal Gumpel

Gumpel has tried many avenues for recourse with the church. In many ways the IRCP was his final hope.

In 2013, Gumpel went public with his allegations after decades of keeping them secret.

He contacted Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston lawyer who has represented hundreds of victims of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church and who was depicted in the movie “Spotlightin 2015. 

Before contacting Garabedian, Gumpel told only the people closest to him. The abuse destroyed his life and family, he said. He is estranged from his siblings, he suffered with substance abuse for years, and his trauma contributed to the failure of his first marriage.

Garabedian already knew about Drake when Gumpel called because he had worked with Richard Cerick, who said Drake had raped him when he was 13 years old in New York in 1969.

Cerick succeeded in getting a six-figure settlement, according to Garabedian, from the Society of Jesus, the religious order in the church that Drake was part of, as well as a public apology from Fordham University, the Jesuit university that housed Drake for 24 years and that continues to house a large number of New York Jesuits to this day. 

Garabedian and Gumpel were both hopeful that the church would agree to compensate him and issue a public apology, just as they did for Cerick. 

When Gumpel met with representatives for the Society of Jesus, they apologized for what had happened, before questioning “almost everyone” in Gumpel’s life, said Gumpel and Garabedian. They eventually deemed his story credible and apologized again privately but declined to compensate him or issue a public apology.

The Society of Jesus then said it would not compensate Gumpel because Drake had abused him while he was on a leave of absence.

That reasoning doesn’t make sense, Robert Hoatson, a former priest and the founder of Road to Recovery, an organization that advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse, told Business Insider. Jesuit priests have to go through a formal process to be “laicized,” or removed from the priesthood, he said. Drake never did.

“I’d never seen anything like it before. They said [Gumpel’s] story was credible, they acknowledged that it happened, they acknowledged the problem, and then they said they wouldn’t fix it,” Garabedian said.

timothy dolan hillary clinton donald trump Hillary Clinton, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and Donald Trump at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner in New York in 2016. Thomson Reuters

Inconsistencies in the church

The church’s distinction between diocesan priests and deacons and religious order clerics and church officials doesn’t make complete sense, according to many experts on canon law. 

Canon law stipulates that the bishop in any diocese holds ultimate authority over religious order clerics, Patrick J. Wall, a canon lawyer and former Roman Catholic priest who has written extensively about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, told Business Insider.

A book on canon law by three canon lawyers — John Beal, James Coriden, and Thomas Green — concluded the same.

“There is no statute of canon law which says the bishop is only responsible in certain cases,” Wall said. “The bishop is responsible, according to canon law, for the people of God. That includes any priest, religious [order member], layperson, or volunteer who works or functions in the diocese in collaboration with the bishop.”

Even in practice, the church has not always been consistent in differentiating between diocesan members and religious order members when it comes to sexual abuse.

At the beginning of the abuse crisis, the church frequently settled and gave payments to victims of religious order members, Anne Barrett-Doyle told Business Insider. She is the codirector of BishopAccountability.org, an information resource that tracks sexual abuse by members of the Roman Catholic Church.

For example, the New York Archdiocese took partial responsibility for sexual abuse committed by the Rev. Bruce Ritter, a Franciscan priest, in the 1990s. Ritter was never “defrocked” from the priesthood.

In 2007, the Los Angeles Archdiocese, in conjunction with religious orders, paid out $660 million to settle claims that 508 victims brought against 221 priests, brothers, teachers, and employees in the largest church-abuse case nationwide. That same year, the San Diego Diocese agreed to pay $200 million to 144 victims who said they were abused by diocesan and religious-order clerics. In 2004, the Orange County Diocese paid $100 million to settle claims by 91 victims against 44 priests and religious-order members.

Neal Gumpel Bob Hoatson Neal Gumpel, right, and Robert Hoatson demonstrate against the church and the Society of Jesus a couple of times a month. Neal Gumpel

The ‘look-back window’

Outside of excluding victims of religious clerics, Dolan’s program has been criticized as being instituted to circumvent legal action against the church. 

New York’s current sexual-abuse laws, particularly those regarding child sexual abuse, are among the most stringent in the country, because they give victims a very small window of time within which to take legal action than do laws in other states.

The statute of limitations for child sexual abuse in New York gives victims only until age 23 to prosecute their abusers and until age 21 to prosecute negligent employers. By comparison, Connecticut, Florida, Delaware, and other states have no civil or criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse.

The IRCP comes at a time when victims advocates are gaining ground pushing for statute-of-limitations reform in New York. The Child Victims Act, which has received support in the New York Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, aims to eliminate the statute of limitations for child-sexual-abuse cases. It includes a “look-back window,” which would give victims of child sexual abuse one year to retroactively file civil suits against their abusers.

Cecilia Springer, age 85, would benefit from the Child Victims Act. Springer said she was abused in 1945 at the age of 14 by Sister Mary Andrew, who was the principal of Notre Dame High School in Manhattan, which she attended. A religious sister for 30 years and a Garabedian client, Springer cannot sue the church because the statute of limitations has ended.

The Child Victims Act is her last hope. She cannot participate in the IRCP because, like Gumpel, she was abused by a religious-order member, not a diocesan priest or deacon.

“If it doesn’t pass, then I have no way of seeking justice for the crime committed against me,” she said. “The church is turning a blind eye to me and anyone like me who was abused by a [religious-order member]. What other option do I have?”

Springer, Gumpel, and others like them would likely be the church’s biggest liability if the bill passes, said Barrett-Doyle, who added that the IRCP is intended to signal to New York legislators that the church is taking care of victims themselves, while limiting how much it has to pay.

“A ‘look-back window’ like the one in the Child Victims Act would be catastrophic for the Church. Can you imagine how many people would sue them?” she said.

The IRCP stipulates that if claimants choose to participate in the program, they forever waive the right to sue the church, thereby releasing the institution of any liability in the future, and they must sign an agreement to adhere to “all requirements pertaining to privacy and confidentiality.”

“If the Child Victims Act ever passes in New York — and Gov. Andrew Cuomo promises it will be a priority in 2017 — Dolan will have already flushed out and shackled many of the victims who might have filed suit,” Barrett-Doyle wrote in an op-ed for the National Catholic Reporter in October.

“The church is doing what it always does,” said Garabedian. “It’s taking care of the problem quietly and paying as little money as possible, all while sweeping the abuse under the rug.”

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Article from

THE NEW YORK TIMES

N.Y. / Region

In Troubled Newark Archdiocese, Hoping Its New Leader Is a Pastor, Not a Prince

https://cdn1.nyt.com/images/2016/11/12/nyregion/12NEWARK1/12NEWARK1-articleLarge.jpg
 Bishop Manuel Cruz after Mass in November at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the seat of the Archdiocese of Newark. The archdiocese is preparing for the arrival of its new leader, Archbishop Joseph Tobin.
By JAMES BARRON

NEWARK — Bishop Manuel A. Cruz opened with a head count. “Four,” he said, looking out at the four parishioners in a small chapel behind the soaring Gothic sanctuary of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart here. “The perfect number, because it is the number we are here.”

Then Bishop Cruz said the evening Mass — the nightly service in English. Of the four worshipers, one was a lay reader, Edna Tan, who came to the United States from the Philippines 27 years ago. Also at the service was the cathedral’s head sacristan, Sister Ana Julia Frias, a nun from the Dominican Republic. The third worshiper was black, the fourth white.

Ninety minutes later in the same chapel, another Mass began, the weekly evening service in Spanish. The pews were full, about 50 people in all.

The difference in attendance illustrates one of the main challenges facing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark as it prepares for the arrival of a new leader, Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, currently the archbishop of Indianapolis. The cathedral is the seat of a troubled archdiocese stretching across four counties in northern New Jersey. It encompasses some of the state’s wealthiest communities, and some of its poorest.

But Archbishop Tobin will face other challenges in Newark, where he will succeed Archbishop John J. Myers, the leader of the archdiocese’s 1.5 million Catholics for the past 15 years.

 Archbishop Myers — who in July turned 75, the age at which bishops routinely submit their resignations to the Vatican — has been faulted for the archdiocese’s handling of a case involving a priest convicted of sexual abuse. He has also come under fire for using more than $500,000 of church money to build an addition to his weekend home in Hunterdon County, N.J. — a three-story wing with an exercise pool and an elevator.

“It seems to me it is a place that needs some serious healing,” Christopher M. Bellitto, a professor of history at Kean University in Union, N.J., said of the archdiocese.

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 Archbishop Tobin at the Cathedral Basilica last week. As the archbishop of Indianapolis, he made headlines in 2015 when he said that the archdiocese would continue to welcome Syrian refugees, despite moves against resettlement by Gov. Mike Pence.

Pope Francis, by appointing Archbishop Tobin to his new post and elevating him to cardinal later this week, is not only rejiggering the hierarchy of the church in the United States, but he is also elevating the Newark Archdiocese, Catholic commentators said. It is one of the 10 largest dioceses in the country, but it has never been led by a cardinal, as the Archdiocese of New York is.

Rocco Palmo, who follows the church hierarchy for the Catholic news site Whispers in the Loggia, wrote that Archbishop Tobin and his counterpart in New York, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, are “two garrulous, larger-than-life Irishmen whose shared lack of shyness is punctuated by a more than occasional difference of approach to church life.”

Archbishop Tobin, who is seen as a moderate, made national headlines last year when he announced that his archdiocese would continue to welcome Syrian refugees in Indiana, despite moves against resettlement by Gov. Mike Pence, now the vice president-elect.

Archbishop Myers, who is considered a conservative, barred a priest from the ministry in September over the priest’s support for gay advocacy groups. The priest, the Rev. Warren Hall, a former chaplain at Seton Hall University, said the archbishop had told him he was “confusing the faithful.”

Even before Archbishop Myers reached retirement age, Pope Francis was moving to put his imprint on Newark. In 2013, the pope named a coadjutor archbishop who would have succeeded Archbishop Myers automatically when he turned 75. But in 2014, the pope reassigned the coadjutor archbishop, Bernard A. Hebda, to another trouble spot, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

“Hebda and Tobin are Francis bishops, where Myers is more of a prince or prelate,” Professor Bellitto said, noting that Archbishop Tobin has told people never to call him “a prince of the church.” The National Catholic Reporter quoted the archbishop as saying that he and the pope were “fed up to here with princes.”

Professor Bellitto said that “Newark needs a pastor, not a prelate or a prince” and that Archbishop Tobin would fit the bill. Once he arrives in Newark, the professor said, parishioners would “feel as if a bishop is being named to hear them, as opposed to being named to preside over a wealthy place and talk to wealthy people all the time.”

“Fund-raising is part of the job,” Professor Bellitto said. “Balancing the books is part of the job, but you can hire people to do that. You can’t fake authenticity. You can’t fake a sense of real compassion for the people in the pew. After Francis was named pope, a lot of people were saying soup kitchens became the new limousines, and they were saying St. Francis of Assisi was always my favorite. But their closets were still full of French cuffs.”

With parishes that offer Mass in 20 languages, the Newark Archdiocese serves a wide economic range in the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union. The township in the archdiocese with the highest median household income, $194,536, is North Caldwell, N.J., about 12 miles from Newark. Orange has the lowest, $32,749. Newark itself has the second lowest, $34,012, according to a Queens College analysis of census data.

The four counties are also racially mixed. They are 42.6 percent white, 26.3 percent Hispanic and 18.6 percent black, according to the Census Bureau data.

 “It’s very different from when I grew up,” said Peter Ahr, an emeritus professor of religion at Seton Hall, from which he graduated in 1962. “In my youth, it was largely European ethnic — Irish, Italian, German, Polish. There has been an enormous increase in the number of African-American Catholics and Latinos, and I can think of Korean-American Catholic parishes that didn’t exist 50 years ago.”

But the archdiocese, like many across the United States, has closed churches as attendance has fallen or shifted. It now has 214 parishes, down from 238 in 1995. It operated 192 schools in 1995 — 153 elementary schools and 39 high schools. Now it has 96 — 67 elementary schools and 29 high schools. The archdiocese had 806 priests in 1995, compared with 700 today.

The Rev. Thomas Dente, the pastor of Notre Dame Church in North Caldwell, said his big challenge was “to bring people back.”

“I say this to my staff, I say I’d be happy if we get parishioners who are registered to come” to Mass, he said. “It’s not a question of going out and bringing non-Christians and converting, quote unquote. It’s a question of bringing back people who are only slightly connected now.” He estimated that such people made up half the 2,000 families in his parish.

The sex abuse case that drew national attention involved the Rev. Michael Fugee, who was convicted in 2003 of criminal sexual conduct. He had been accused of groping a boy in 1999 and 2000, when he was an associate pastor at St. Elizabeth Church in Wyckoff, N.J. The conviction was later overturned, but he and prosecutors in Bergen County reached an agreement that called for him to undergo sex-offender treatment.

The agreement also said that he was not to have unsupervised contact with children. And the archdiocese was to see that he was not given responsibilities that put him in a position to do so.

But in 2013, The Star-Ledger reported that he had been working with youth groups at St. Mary’s Church in Colts Neck, N.J., part of the Diocese of Trenton. Father Fugee voluntarily left the ministry as Archbishop Myers moved to suspend him. He was expelled from the priesthood in 2014.

James Goodness, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said that it had restricted Father Fugee to administrative work — essentially a desk job — after his conviction was overturned. “Michael Fugee did not tell us he was going down to Colts Neck,” Mr. Goodness said. “He went there on his own. He never asked for permission to do any of that. Had he asked, he would have been told no.”

The archdiocese does not make public the number of sex abuse cases it is dealing with. Mr. Goodness said it has reported allegations to county prosecutors and referred cases that are not prosecuted to a review board within the archdiocese.

Robert M. Hoatson, a former Catholic priest and a founder of Road to Recovery, an organization based in New Jersey for survivors of sexual abuse, said that under Archbishop Myers, the archdiocese had “treated this bureaucratically,” even as it settled cases. The archbishop “doesn’t meet with anyone, doesn’t offer any pastoral outreach,” he said. “In other dioceses, the bishop has met with victims. It’s more pastoral in tone.”

Father Dente said he had heard from parishioners about the archdiocese’s handling of abuse cases and the money spent on Archbishop Myers’s house.

“But I will say, most people in the parish, the ones who are coming, love their church,” he said. “They love the local parish, and their faith is not hindered by events or scandals that upset them. Their faith is deeper.”

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News Article from

NorthJersey.com

Pope names Indiana archbishop to lead Newark Archdiocese

Cardinal-elect Joseph W. Tobin during a press conference Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.

 
Kevin R. Wexler/staff photographer
 
Cardinal-elect Joseph W. Tobin during a press conference Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.

The Roman Catholic spiritual leader who was picked by the Vatican to lead the Archdiocese of Newark is a friend of Pope Francis and embodies many of the pontiff’s values, said a pastoral minister who talked on Monday about a ushering in spirit of “joy and transparency.”

Observers say that Joseph Tobin, the archbishop of Indianapolis and soon to be named a cardinal, could hardly be more different from the man he will replace, Archbishop John J. Myers, a staunchly conservative prelate whose tenure has been punctuated with scandal.

Catholic Church experts speculated that Monday’s announcement by the Vatican that Tobin would succeed Myers was another sign of Pope Francis’ moderate makeover of the church.

Tobin, introduced at a press conference on Monday at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, said he doesn’t know why the pope picked him to lead the Newark Archdiocese, but said it may be because he’s worked in multicultural communities.

Related:  As he exits, Newark Archbishop Myers opens up; criticizes secular culture

“Sometimes I think that Pope Francis sees a lot more in me than I see in myself,” said Tobin, who was born and raised in Detroit.

“This is an important appointment…maybe Newark… has some characteristics of my hometown, and I’m comfortable in that sort of environment,” he said.

Myers is a champion of strict Catholic doctrine, who has come under fire for sinking more than a half-million dollars of archdiocese funds into expanding his spacious Hunterdon County retirement home. Tobin, in contrast, is committed to ministering to the poor, and eschews the “princely” life for a bishop.

 Tobin will join the College of Cardinals when he is elevated to the exalted rank later this month. Cardinals are tasked with picking the next pope and usually preside over archdioceses in the nation’s largest and most important cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

It will be the first time that a cardinal would lead the Newark Archdiocese, and the first time that there will be cardinals on either side of the Hudson River. Tobin said that New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan called him Monday morning to welcome him

 “It’s extraordinary,” said Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit writer for the National Catholic Reporter. “The pope is selecting him as a person, because he likes Tobin, not simply because he’s the archbishop of Indianapolis.

Reese said for the pope to designate Tobin as a cardinal while he led Indianapolis was “extraordinary,” and that his transfer to another archdiocese as a cardinal is unprecedented.

“We have never had a case in the United States of a cardinal being moved from one archdiocese to another,” he said.

Tobin will begin his new assignment on Jan. 6.

The 64-year-old Tobin, who has known Pope Francis for more than a decade and speaks several languages, rose rapidly in the church. He was appointed archbishop in Indianapolis four years ago.

Tobin said during Monday’s news conference that he grew up in a multicultural neighborhood of southwest Detroit and was a little jealous of classmates who spoke different languages at home.

“My service of the church obliged me to live many years in cultures different from the Irish-American ambient of my family,” he said. “So I’m excited to lead an archdiocese where the Eucharist is celebrated each Sunday in 20 languages.”

Tobin speaks Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.

He said he didn’t plan to offer a strategy on how he would lead the diocese yet, but instead talked about principles that would guide his ministry. He also identified “joy, transparency, and freedom” as qualities he believed the archdiocese needed and which he intended to promote.

 “I intend to be in regular and effective communication with people of this archdiocese, city and state,” he said. “I will promote policies that recognize that we preach the Gospel not only with words but with actions.”

After delivering prepared remarks, Tobin answered questions, including a few in Spanish. He spoke briefly about his sense of humor, meetings with Pope Francis, his childhood growing up in a home of 13 children and some of the work he did leading the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

When asked about what message he had for parishioners and others who are affected by claims of priest sexual abuse, he said that although he didn’t know the archdiocese’s history on that issue, he said it was “not only a physical violation, but an unspeakable violation of trust.”

Since 2002, he said, the church has implemented safeguards to make it safer for children.

The appointment is a sign that Francis is eager to reassure the Catholics in the Newark archdiocese after years of tumult during Myers’ leadership, priests in the archdiocese said.

Myers was appointed in 2001 and reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in July.

Myers won the praise of conservatives in the church for lamenting the increasing secular culture that he said “undermined” the family and diminished the role faith plays in shaping public policy.

But his conservative interpretation of Catholic doctrine often has been at odds with the pope’s efforts to welcome gay Catholics into the church, to elevate the work of religious women, and Francis’ condemnation of bishops and priests who lead lush lifestyles on the donations of parishioners.

Under his tenure in Newark he is alleged to have returning a priest who had been convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy to active ministry. He came under intense criticism for using more than $500,000 in archdiocesan funds to vastly expand the large retirement house in the rolling hills of rural western New Jersey.

In 2013, Pope Francis named Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda as Myers’ assistant bishop and likely successor three years before Myers’ mandatory retirement after criticism grew over the prelate’s leadership.

A beloved figure in the church, Hebda lived in a small room at Seton Hall University in South Orange, rejecting the lavish surroundings of the archdiocese in Newark. His supporters said his appointment improved morale among parish priests and were heartened by the likely prospect of Hebda taking over.

Earlier this year, the pope appointed Hebda to lead of the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where mismanagement of clergy sexual-abuse cases led to resignations of church officials.

Tobin has commented on people seeing similarities between him and the pope in terms of building bridges and welcoming refugees and immigrants. Last year, Tobin defied Gov. Mike Pence’s ban on resettling Syrian refugees in Indiana.

In 2007, Tobin was in Argentina for a period, including in Buenos Aires which then was led by Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, who later became Pope Francis. He said he considers the pope his teacher.

The Archdiocese of Newark serves 1.2 million Roman Catholics in Bergen, Essex, Union and Hudson counties, while the Indianapolis archdiocese serves 39 counties in the central and southern parts of the state. Tobin said that 11 percent of the population in those counties is Catholic.

Rev. James Teti, pastor of the Church of the Annunciation in Paramus, attended the press conference and said that Tobin’s multilingual skills and his experiences in Indianapolis make him a “fine fit” for the archdiocese.

 “He’s got a very outgoing style and is good with people and that will serve him well just to engage with the people of the Archdiocese, the priests,” said Teti, who oversees the training of deacons for the archdiocese.

Robert Hoatson, of the New Jersey advocacy group Road to Recovery, which helps victims of sex abuse, held two white placards outside the Basilica before the press conference which read “GIVE MANSION TO SEX VICTIMS” and “15 YRS OF ABUSE.” Hoatson, a former priest and critic of Myers, said he was hopeful with Tobin’s appointment.

“It’s clear that Pope Francis is sending a message, he wants bishops to be pastoral, to be compassionate, to be merciful,” he said.

Email: alvarado@northjersey.com

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News Article from

news12-logo-wc_n12New Jersey

Pope Francis appoints Archbishop Joseph Tobin as cardinal to lead Newark Archdiocese

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Archbishop Joseph Tobin was appointed as the new cardinal for the Newark Archdiocese. (11/7/16)

NEWARK – A cardinal will lead the Newark Archdiocese for the first time in its history as Pope Francis named Archbishop Joseph Tobin to the position.

Archbishop Tobin transferred from Indianapolis. He will be named cardinal later this month. A cardinal is a high-ranking clergy member who is involved in choosing a new pope.

The archbishop says that he believes his new position will help to give the archdiocese a bigger voice.

“So in a certain sense they have a spokesperson who will be able to speak about the reality, the lights and the shadows,” he says.

Archbishop Tobin replaces Archbishop John Myers, who will be retiring at age 75. Archbishop Myers had a controversial tenure in the position. Some critics spoke out against his expenses and for the way he handled allegations of sex abuse by members of the clergy.

“We’re hoping that Cardinal Tobin will treat victims of sex abuse and particularly by clergy, with greater compassion and greater honesty and we hope he settles cases and meets with victims,” says Bob Hoatson, of the sex abuse advocate group Road to Recovery.

Archbishop Tobin calls clergy sex abuse a “scourge.”

An installation Mass for Cardinal-elect Tobin will be held at the Cathedral Basilica on Jan. 6.

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News Article from

logo-6-14

New Archbishop Seen to Herald Change at Newark Archdiocese

11-7-16
Click for video

By David Cruz
Correspondent

Cardinal designate Joseph Tobin is as different from the man he will succeed as you could imagine — younger by a decade, with a quicker smile, a lighter, more humble touch and a closeness (philosophically, anyway) with Pope Francis that has eluded outgoing Archbishop John Myers.

“What an honor the Holy Father has given to the priests, religious and lay people of this archdiocese and also to the state of New Jersey,” said Myers today.

Tobin comes to Newark from Indianapolis, where he served as Archbishop. His appointment is seen by many observers of the church as a further signal from the pope that a change is in the air.

“I think in maybe trying to figure out for myself why this is happening because of the experience of leading a worldwide congregation and really working in cultures other than my own I’ve learned respect for other cultures and I’ve learned to welcome the witness of other peoples,” said Tobin. “I mean, I really enjoy this experience of a multicultural community in church.”

But criticism of the church’s handling of sex abuse cases has lingered, and Myers seeming recalcitrance in the face of the charges has hurt morale and created a distance between the church and its flock. Today, Tobin asked for patience — as he’s been on the ground for only 18 hours.

“I do know from this country and other places in the world what a scourge clerical sexual abuse has been,” he explained. “It’s not only a physical violation but it is an unspeakable violation of trust. That people who believed, in a dangerous world, they couldn’t trust anybody but they could trust us with their kids. When we violate that, it is unspeakable.”

Outside today’s announcement Bob Hoatson, co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, a harsh critic of Myers tenure and an advocate for clerical sex abuse victims, said he welcomed the change in leadership.

“The message from the pope is that we want bishops who are merciful, who are just, who are pastoral and Archbishop Myers has been a bureaucrat, simply put,” he said. “What is important to Archbishop Myers is his image and the assets of the Archdiocese and everything else doesn’t matter. This new man hopefully will have the opposite.”

Tobin speaks four languages and has had several overseas assignments. He was at the center of controversy last year when he defied Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s ban on accepting Syrian refugees, which prompted a question about how he might advise Catholics on this day before Election Day.

“You should take a good look at what people are talking about, especially the candidates. Are they calling us together, or are they separating us?” he asked. “I’m not going to tell people who to vote for tomorrow, but I’m going to say that these are things you should keep in mind.”

The oldest of 13 children, Tobin says he’s learned that he doesn’t need much and hopes to challenge his fellow clergy to recognize that maybe they don’t need everything they think they need in order to be free and human. A subtle rebuke of Myers’ fondness for luxury, perhaps, but certainly in step with the gospel of austerity that, today, is in favor at the Vatican.

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Demonstration outside Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart
Newark, NJ

November 7, 2016

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Fred Marigliano

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Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. President and Co-Founder Road to Recovery

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MEDIA RELEASE – NOVEMBER 6, 2016

The Cardinal Archbishop-designate of Newark, New Jersey, Joseph Tobin, will be called upon to reach out to victim/survivors of sexual abuse by Archdiocese of Newark clergy and other clergy, religious men/ women (such as those in religious orders) and  personnel who have worked in the Archdiocese of Newark, settle their claims in a fair and timely manner, release all information about cases of sexual abuse by Archdiocesan clergy and other clergy and religious men and women (such as those in religious orders) and other personnel, and pledge to be honest and transparent about ALL sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey

In particular, the Cardinal Archbishop-designate of Newark, New Jersey, Joseph Tobin, will be called upon to fairly settle six claims of childhood sexual abuse in a timely manner against Fr. Michael “Mitch” Walters who allegedly sexually abused children at St. Cassian’s Parish, Upper Montclair, NJ and St. John Nepomucene Parish in Guttenberg, NJ

Road to Recovery, Inc. will call on the Cardinal Archbishop-designate of Newark, New Jersey, Joseph Tobin, to support the passage of statute of limitations legislation in the State of New Jersey that will give victims of sexual abuse their day in court

What
A press conference calling on the Cardinal Archbishop-designate of Newark, New Jersey,  Joseph Tobin, to treat victims of sexual abuse by Archdiocesan clergy and other clergy, religious men/women (such as those in religious orders) and personnel who have worked in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, with fairness, honesty, and transparency by settling their claims in a timely manner.  In addition, demonstrators will call on the Cardinal Archbishop-designate of Newark, New Jersey, Joseph Tobin, to support statute of limitations legislation in New Jersey that will give victims of sexual abuse their day in court

When
Monday, November 7, 2016, following the 10:30 am press conference announcing the appointment of Joseph Tobin as Cardinal Archbishop-designate of Newark, New Jersey

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, 89 Ridge Street, Newark, New Jersey 07104

Who
Members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including its co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., a sexual abuse victim and former priest of the Archdiocese of Newark

Why
The Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, has been wracked by allegations of sexual abuse by archdiocesan clergy and by clergy, religious men/women (such as those in religious orders) and personnel who have worked in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey.  To this day, information about cases of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Newark has been withheld from the victims, their advocates, and the general public.  Archbishop John Myers has been secretive about allegations of sexual abuse, the names of the abusers, and the documents associated with the cases that are in the possession of the Archdiocese of Newark.  This practice must end.  The Cardinal Archbishop-designate, Joseph Tobin, must treat victim/survivors of sexual abuse with compassion, honesty, and transparency.  Information about sexual abusers must be made public, and a list of abusive clergy and other personnel must be placed on the Archdiocese of Newark website.

Contact
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

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Demonstration outside of St. Francis of Assisi

New York City (Manhattan)

Friday, November 4, 2016

img_20161104_145331682

Robert M. Hoatson, President and Co-Founder of Road to Recovery

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Demonstration at St. Mary’s Parish, Pompton Lakes, NJ

October 30, 2016

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501

 

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MEDIA RELEASE – OCTOBER 26, 2016

Mother, Elizabeth Frampton, to speak out about sexual abuse of her son by a teacher and counselor, James Spicola, at TechAccess, based in Warwick, RI, which eaches visually impaired and legally blind people about using technological services.

TechAccess teacher and counselor, James Spicola, pleaded “No Contest” in April, 2016, to two (2) counts of 2nd degree child molestation and received a suspended sentence, probation, and participation in a sex offender program

Victim of TechAccess teacher and counselor, James Spicola, was sexually abused on more than one occasion, including in a remote bathroom, in the TechAccess kitchen, and in an office of TechAccess.  James Spicola also forced the victim to perform sexually while Skyping

What
A press conference by Elizabeth Frampton, the mother of a sexual abuse victim of a teacher and counselor, James Spicola.  She will speak about her son’s sexual abuse by a TechAccess teacher and counselor, James Spicola, who pleaded “No Contest” in April, 2016, to two criminal counts.

When
Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 11:00 am

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of TechAccess located at 110 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI, 02888

Who
Elizabeth Frampton, the mother of a minor child who was sexually abused at TechAccess, Warwick, RI, by teacher and counselor, James Spicola;  Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why

“John Doe” is a legally blind minor child who was sexually abused by his teacher and counselor, James Spicola, beginning in approximately the sixth grade at TechAccess, a monthly program which teaches visually impaired and legally blind people about using technological services.  James Spicola sexually abused the minor child on more than one occasion from approximately 2011-2012 while he was participating in the TechAccess program.  James Spicola pleaded “No Contest” to two counts of 2nd degree child molestation in April, 2016, and was given a six year suspended sentence, six years of probation, and assignment to a sex offender program.  The victim’s mother will speak to the media about the sexual abuse of her son by James Spicola, the effects the sexual abuse has had on her son, and the effect of the sexual abuse on her family.  The mother and the victim are currently represented by Attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston, MA.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc., 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com

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Elizabeth and John Frampton  (second and third from right)

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News Article from logo-wpri-large1

Cumberland parents threaten to sue TechAccess, volunteer over child molestation charges

 
 WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Cumberland parents are following up to make sure that one man convicted of molesting a child years ago can never do it again.

The couple initially brought their ten-year-old son to TechAccess in Warwick in hopes that the organization would teach him how to use technology to help with his disability. Now, they say they plan on suing TechAccess and 33-year-old James Spicola, a former volunteer.

According to the parents, Spicola sexually abused their son four times in two years.

Police reports state that Spicola touched the boy inappropriately, forced the boy to touch him, and then bribed him to stay quiet.

Spicola has pleaded no contest to two counts of 2nd-degree child molestation.

“It’s just a horrible thing we’ve had to live with,” said the parents.

The incidents have taken a toll on their son, state the couple. “We’ve reduced our expectations. We used to have a kid where we’d say the sky’s the limit. Now we say, I hope he stays alive.”

Co-founder of Road to Recovery, Robert Hoatson said that “the most unusual aspect of this case ,in my opinion, is the fact that their son was able to come forward at a very young age to tell the family about the sexual abuse he endured.”

TechAccess said that they were distraught over Spicola’s actions and that client safety is their first priority.

Eyewitness News reached out to Spicola’s lawyers but did not receive a response.

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DEMONSTRATING OUTSIDE OF FORDHAM UNIVERSITY, BRONX, NY

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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Helen and Neal Gumpel

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Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-Founder and President of Road to Recovery (left) and wife of Neal Gumpel, Helen

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Survivor/Victim Neal Gumpel (right)

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News Article from

wjar-header-logo

Only on 10: Former prep school teacher accused of sexual abuse

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News Article from
southcoasttoday_logo

Sex abuse suit brought against former private school teacher

ar-161029717

Robert M. Hoatson, Co-Founder and President of Road to Recovery

DARTMOUTH — A Dartmouth man and retired math teacher at Deerfield Academy is being sued in the wake of allegations he sexually abused a 16-year-old student there in 1986, the victim’s lawyers said.

Peter G. Hindle and his unidentified supervisor are named as defendants in a civil suit, filed Sept. 8 in Bristol County Superior Court, according to court documents.

 

The 12-page complaint alleges Hindle, now 82, engaged in “explicit sexual behavior and lewd and lascivious conduct” when he, among other things, rubbed, massaged and licked the student’s naked back. The victim is not identified in the complaint and his lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian of Boston, said he is about 44 years old and resides in New York state.

“He should be proud by filing the complaint and empowering himself and other victims of sexual abuse and making the world a safer place,” the attorney said in an interview.

Garabedian said the victim suffers from issues relating to trust, self-esteem, anger, anxiety, self-respect and self-blame because of the abuse, which occurred in his dorm room.

“Educators have a lot to learn when it comes to protecting children against sexual predators,” Garabedian said. “Supervisors should be supervising so innocent victims are not sexually abused by sexual predators like Peter Hindle.”

The filing of the lawsuit was announced Monday at a press conference outside Dartmouth Town Hall by Robert M. Hoatson, a former priest and co-founder and president of Road to Recovery Inc., a non-profit based in New Jersey, that aids victims of sexual abuse and their families.

Hindle did not return three calls for comment on Monday from The Standard-Times. He was also a coach and dormitory master at Deerfield, according to the complaint.

Garabedian told The Standard-Times he has had four claims against Hindle, including this latest one. The incidents are alleged to have occurred between 1974 and 1989 when the victims were between the ages of 14 and 16. The victims now range in age from 43 to 56.

 Two of the complaints were settled in the “six figures,” and one is currently being investigated, he said.

Deerfield Academy is not named as a defendant in this lawsuit.

The lawsuit relates to information and a report released by Deerfield Academy in 2013, David Thiel, a school spokesman, said Monday. Following an investigation, conducted by independent legal counsel, the school concluded that sexual conduct by Hindle occurred with a student who came forward and there was evidence that he also engaged in “such conduct” with “at least one other student.”

Hindle admitted that sexual contact with the student had taken place “one time,” but claimed it was against his will, the school said in a March 30, 2013 report to the Deerfield community. However, the school found that Hindle “neither resisted nor reported the incident.”

In the March 30, 2013, report, the Board of Trustees decided to rename the Peter G. Hindle ’52 Schoolmaster’s Chair, remove his name from the squash facility and forbid him from attending events on campus.

Hindle was faculty member at Deerfield between 1956 and 2000 and retired in 2000, according to Thiel.

Follow Curt Brown on Twitter @CurtBrown_SCT

  

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News Article from logo-wwlp-large

Deerfield Academy pays six-figure settlement to sexual abuse victim

The former student sued the school and the former teacher

 

DEERFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Deerfield Academy paid $200,000 to settle a lawsuit with a California man who claims he was sexually abused by his math teacher there in the 1970’s. The former student sued the school and that former teacher.

“It’s really shocking to hear something like this going on,” said John Talbot of Deerfield.  “With a kid of my own, you’d like to think when you send them to school they’re safe.”

The teacher, Peter Hindle was accused of raping the then-14-year-old in his residence multiple times in the fall of 1979. Hindle lives in Eastern Massachusetts, and will never stand trial for child rape because the statute of limitations has run out. Attorney for the victim, Mitchell Garabedian, said his client suffered life-long emotional trauma from the abuse.

New Jersey based non-profit “Road to Recovery” assisted the victim and his familly throughout the recovery process.

Robert Hoatson, President of the Road to Recovery told 22News,”We’ve only just scratched the surface,” said Hoatson. “We think this hero will hopefully give others the courage to come forward and begin their recovery.”

22News called Deerfield Academy spokesman, David Thiel, but he declined to comment on the lawsuit, out of respect for the victim and his family.

Hoatson said statistics show 1 in 6 boys, and 1 in 4 girls in the U.S. are sexually abused before the age of 18.

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MEDIA RELEASE – OCTOBER 23, 2016

“John Doe,” a childhood sexual abuse victim, files a civil lawsuit in Bristol County, MA, Superior Court against former Deerfield (MA) Academy teacher, Peter Hindle, believed to be a resident of the Dartmouth, MA, area, and against Defendant Two, a currently unidentified Deerfield (MA) Academy supervisor or former supervisor.  The Plaintiff’s attorney is Mitchell Garabedian of Boston, MA.

 Deerfield (MA) Academy, located in Franklin County, MA, employed mathematics teacher Peter Hindle from approximately 1956 until 2000 where Peter Hindle also served as a coach, dormitory master, counselor, and supervisor of minor boys who attended Deerfield (MA) Academy

 From approximately 1984 until approximately 1987, the Plaintiff attended Deerfield (MA) Academy when he was approximately fourteen (14) to sixteen (16) years of age.  In approximately 1986, when the Plaintiff was approximately sixteen (16) years of age, Peter Hindle sexually abused the Plaintiff in the Plaintiff’s dormitory room at Deerfield (MA) Academy

What
A press conference announcing the filing of a civil lawsuit in Bristol County, MA, Superior Court by a childhood sexual abuse victim of Peter Hindle, a mathematics teacher, coach, dormitory supervisor, counselor, and supervisor of young boys for approximately forty-four (44) years at Deerfield (MA) Academy in Deerfield, Franklin County, MA.  The lawsuit also names Defendant Two, a currently unidentified Deerfield (MA) Academy supervisor or former supervisor

When
Monday, October 24, 2016 at 11:30 am

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of the Town Hall of Dartmouth, MA, located at 400 Slocum Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747

Who
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why
Peter Hindle, who was employed by Deerfield (MA) Academy for approximately forty-four (44) years as a mathematics teacher, coach, dormitory master, counselor, and supervisor of young boys, has been named by several former students of Deerfield (MA) Academy as being a sexual abuser of children.  Peter Hindle, according to reports, resides in the Dartmouth, MA, area.  Recently, a former student of Deerfield (MA) Academy, who attended the school from approximately 1984 to 1987, filed a civil lawsuit in Bristol County, MA, Superior Court, against Peter Hindle and Defendant Two, a currently unidentified Deerfield (MA) Academy supervisor or former supervisor. “John Doe” claims that Peter Hindle sexually abused him in approximately 1986 when he was approximately sixteen (16) years of age in his dormitory room at Deerfield (MA) Academy.  The Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer from harm as a result of being sexually abused by teacher Peter Hindle and because of the negligent supervision of Peter Hindle.  The Plaintiff has demanded a jury trial on all his claims.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

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News Article from   logo

Enzo DomingoOct 20, 2016, 6:31 pm Oct 20, 2016, 6:31 pm

Man comes forward to share his story of alleged sex abuse at Bergen Catholic High School

Walter Slapkowski claims that his alleged abuser, Christian Brother Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan took advantage of him

Walter Slapkowski graduated from Bergen Catholic High School in 1974. But over 40 years after he left, Slapkowski returned Thursday to detail how he was allegedly abused while attending the school.

Slapkowski alleges that Christian Brother Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan took advantage of him during what was supposed to be detention. He says he came forward now because of a $1.9 million settlement in August, after a lawsuit from 21 men accusing staffers of sexual abuse decades ago. Slapkowski is one of the seven other victims who came forward, after the settlement.

Road to Recovery, a non-profit group that provides help to sex abuse victims, backs Slapkowski in his mission to spread awareness and stop the abuses.

“He needs to be stopped,” Slapkowski said. “Because I’m sure he’s still doing it. This was ’71, I was thirteen, I weighed 90-100 pounds. I wish I could go back and discuss it with him.”

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News Article from THE RECORD / NORTH JERSEY.COM

Bergen Catholic alumnus shares his account of being sexually abused by teacher in 1970s

Walter Slapkowski, of Bogota, stands outside Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016.

 TARIQ ZEHAWI/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
 Walter Slapkowski, of Bogota, stands outside Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016.

A 1974 Bergen Catholic High School graduate came forward Thursday to share for the first time his account of being sexually abused by his chemistry teacher as a 13-year-old student, echoing public claims made by dozens of others who attended the school from the 1950s through 1970s.

Standing across the street from his alma mater in Oradell late Thursday morning, Walter Slapkowski, 59 of Bogota, shared in detail his recollection of the abuse he said he endured in after-school detention several decades ago.

Related:  Advocates for alleged child sex abuse victims announce settlement with Bergen Catholic H.S.

Walter Slapkowski, of Bogota, stands outside Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016.

Tariq Zehawi/Staff Photographer
A photo of Walter Slapkowski as a senior from his Bergen Catholic High School yearbook.

He recalled how his chemistry teacher ordered him to detention for speaking in class. The detention, known as “jug” at the school, took a dark turn, Slapkowski said, when he was asked pull down his pants and underwear so he could be “disciplined.”

“I was completely naked. He put me over his lap, and he started smacking me – and I mean hard,” Slapkowski said.

“When he was done,” he added, “he was completely on top of me. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t tell anybody. I was so scared. I didn’t know what to do. I was so scared.”

Slapkowski said he kept the incident to himself. He avoided the teacher in the hallways, and quit the track team. He said he joined the bowling team instead because he could avoid being in the locker room. Though he didn’t share his account with classmates, he said students knew to avoid the “chem. lab,” where the teacher often could be found.

Slapkowski said he was abused only once at Bergen Catholic.

He eventually graduated from college and became an accountant. He married, but said he never told his ex-wife, to whom he was married for 13 years, what had happened to him. He had two children, and just last week told his 21-year-old son about what happened. Slapkowski said he suffers from panic attacks and depression, and has trouble with personal relationships. He said he can’t go to a gym because he remains wary of locker rooms, and “freaks out” when his doctor asks him to drop his pants for an exam. He still goes to church, but said, “I look at priests and I think they’re pedophiles. I shouldn’t think that way.”

Slapkowski said he didn’t tell anyone about what happened until about six years ago, when child sexual abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky, the longtime Penn State assistant football coach, first surfaced. Slapkowski said he confided at that time in his current girlfriend about what happened that afternoon in detention.

Slapkowski said he was motivated to go public with his account after news broke that others have endured similar abuse while at the school.

“He needs to stopped, because I’m sure he’s still doing it,” Slapkowski said of his alleged abuser. “This was ’71.

In August, several of the former students who alleged that they had been victims of child sex abuse while they were enrolled at Bergen Catholic held a news conference outside the school, sharing stories similar to Slapkowski’s account. At that time, they announced that the school had reached a $1.9 million settlement agreement with 21 alleged victims in November 2015.

Slapkowski is one of eight additional victims who have come forward since the settlement was made public, said Mitchell Garabedian, the Boston-based attorney representing the new alleged victims. Garabedian also represented seven of the people included in the 2015 settlement.

Given the number of people coming forward, “I wouldn’t be surprised if hundreds upon hundreds of children were abused while at Bergen Catholic High School,” Garabedian said in a telephone interview on Thursday. “The question remains, where were the supervisors and why weren’t they protecting children from pedophiles?”

The school’s principal, Timothy McElhinney, did not return a phone message on Thursday seeking comment about the new allegations.

Garabedian said the abuse against his eight clients took place between 1950 and 1975, while most were between the ages of 14 and 17. Slapkowski, who turns 60 on Oct. 31, said he was 13 at the time.

In an unrelated case in 2013, the North American Province of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, which runs Bergen Catholic and many other schools across North America, agreed to a $16.5 million settlement as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in federal court. Officials with the order said they had filed for bankruptcy in 2011 because they were operating at a significant loss due to the legal costs related to the settlement of abuse cases.

Garabedian said he is representing his clients in eight separate claims, and recently filed an objection to the school’s bankruptcy filing on behalf of his clients. He said he is looking into the statute of limitations to see if his clients could file a complaint against the school or their alleged abusers.

Slapkowski on Thursday was accompanied by Robert M. Hoatson, the co-founder and president of Road to Recovery Inc., an organization that assists victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

“There was a real culture of sexual abuse here, and my guess is that they knew — somebody knew — and did nothing about it,” said Hoatson, who was a victim of abuse himself.

“The fact there are seven more victims since August is indicative of the fact that there are many more out there who are suffering, and we hope they see this and the courage [shown] by Walter, and say it’s time to break the silence and begin the healing process.”

Email: anzidei@northjersey.com; Twitter: @melanieanzidei

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News Article from Star Ledger / NJ.com

8 more men claim sexual abuse at North Jersey high school

Bergen Catholic abuse allegations
Walter Slapkowski, shown here during a news conference on Oct. 20, 2016, is one of eight men claiming that they were sexually abused at Bergen Catholic High School. (Sara Jerde | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com) (Sara Jerde)

Sara Jerde | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com By Sara Jerde | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on October 20, 2016 at 2:58 PM, updated October 20, 2016 at 4:05 PM

ORADELL — Eight more former Bergen Catholic High School students have come forward to accuse former staff members at the school of sexual abuse.

The eight have levied their allegations since it was revealed in August that the all-boys high school in Oradell had reached a $1.9 million settlement with 21 men who said they were sexually abused at the school.

The eight men, who are now between the ages of about 55 to 75 years old, say they were sexually abused when they were teens between the years of 1956 and 1977, said Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston lawyer who represented some of the previous alleged victims.

The timeframe of the alleged attacks is similar to the one provided by the other alleged victims who settled with the school. They had said they were abused between 1963 and 1978.

Settlement gives 'hope' to one alleged victim

Settlement gives ‘hope’ to one alleged victim

Those who settled will receive sums ranging from $65,000 to $115,000.

Walter Slapkowski, 59, spoke outside of Bergen Catholic on Thursday, willing to share his experience, he said, in the hopes that the man he says abused him is stopped.

Slapkowski, from Bogota, said a teacher at the school told him to take off his pants and underwear, and count while he spanked him during detention.

“I don’t want to hurt you, but I have to teach you a lesson,” Slapkowski said the man told him at the time. Slapkowski said the teacher then put him across his lap.

“I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t tell anybody,” Slapkowski said. “I was so scared. I didn’t know what to do.”

Slapkowski was about 14 at the time. He said he now suffers from panic attacks and depression, gets nervous around doctors who have to perform procedural physical exams and has had personal relationships suffer.

Slapkowski graduated from the high school and earned a degree in accounting at what is now St. Peter’s University. But he said he always grappled with sharing his experience.

Slapkowski said he never told his parents, his ex-wife or his daughter. His son was told just last week, but he said he told his girlfriend years ago when he had a “freak out” over the Penn State sex scandal.

“I dreaded this, but if it helps other kids,” Slapkowski said.

Garabedian said he was preparing to file claims on behalf of all the victims and was researching the statute of limitations.

The school, which has about 700 students enrolled, did not admit liability in reaching the previous settlement. It is staffed by the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers, which did not immediately return a request for comment.

Bergen Catholic is a private school in the Archdiocese of Newark, but it doesn’t govern the school, so a spokesman for the archdiocese declined to comment.

The men who settled with the school have received their money, Garabedian said. They were expected to receive sums that ranged between $65,000 and $115,000.

There were 10 Christian Brothers and one layman accused in the settlement, said Robert Hoatson, co-founder of Road to Recovery, an advocacy group for sexual abuse victims.

There have been four perpetrators named so far by the eight men who have come forward, Garabedian said.

“Based on my experience in representing victims of sex abuse, given the number of pedophiles at Bergen Catholic and the number of children who attend Bergen Catholic over such a broad time period, there has to be hundreds upon hundreds of victims of sex abuse there,” Garabedian said.

A representative from Bergen Catholic High School didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Sara Jerde may be reached at sjerde@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @SaraJerde

MEDIA RELEASE – OCTOBER 19, 2016

Bergen Catholic High School alumnus and childhood sexual abuse victim of Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC, Walter Slipkowski, of Bogota, New Jersey, to speak publicly for the first time about his childhood sexual abuse at Bergen Catholic High School
 
Walter Slipkowski was a minor child in approximately 1970 when he entered Bergen Catholic High School and met a sexual abuser, Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC, who was his science teacher

 
What
A press conference by Walter Slipkowski of Bogota, New Jersey, at which he will announce that he was sexually abused as a minor child at Bergen Catholic High School, Oradell, New Jersey, by Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC

When
Thursday, October 20, 2017, at 11:00 am

Where
On the public sidewalk across from the main entrance of Bergen Catholic High School, 1040 Oradell Avenue, Oradell, New Jersey 07649

Who
Walter Slipkowski of Bogota, New Jersey, a 1974 graduate of Bergen Catholic High School, and resident of Bogota, New Jersey; Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., a former Irish Christian Brother of 23 years and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why
Walter Slipkowski will turn 60 years of age on October 31, 2016.  His family moved from Jersey City, New Jersey, to Teaneck, New Jersey, when he was approximately 10 years old.  Approximately 4 years later (1970), he began attending Bergen Catholic High School at approximately the age of 14.  It was at Bergen Catholic High School in approximately 1970-1971 that he was a student in the science class of his teacher, Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC, who sexually abused him in an anteroom of the science class and laboratory.   It is believed that Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC, left the Irish Christian Brothers many years ago and may have taught (or still may be teaching) at a college in Massachusetts.  Walter Slipkowski will share his story of having been sexually abused as a minor child at Bergen Catholic High School in order to try to heal, be a support to other victims, and hopefully alert others to the dangers posed by pedophile Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

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News Article from    
NJ.com

Sex abuse lawsuits mount against ex-priest, Newark diocese

Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com By Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on October 13, 2016 at 9:02 AM, updated October 13, 2016 at 9:56 AM

NEWARK — Two more sex abuse lawsuits were filed this month accusing a New Jersey priest of sexually abusing children when they attended a Catholic school in the 1980s.

Walters.jpgThe Rev. Michael “Mitch” Walters is accused in 2 new lawsuits of sexually abusing kids. (Archdiocese of Newark)

That brings the total lawsuits lodged against the Archdiocese of Newark and the Rev. Mitch Walters to three.

And more may be coming, according to Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston-area attorney who was portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the 2015 film “Spotlight.”

Garabedian said he is representing six clients who say they were abused by Walters.

The latest two lawsuits were filed separately in Essex County Superior Court on Oct. 5 by Danielle Polemeni and David Ohlmuller. Both attended St. Cassian’s Parish and the church’s associated school in Upper Montclair when they were children while Walters was a priest and deacon.

Jim Goodness, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, declined to comment on the lawsuits. Goodness said earlier this year that Walters denies the allegations against him. Walters was removed from the ministry in January after the allegations arose.

Polemeni, a 47-year-old teacher who now lives in Columbus, Ohio, said in an interview with NJ Advance Media that Walters groped her on multiple occasions when she was 13 and 14 years old.

“I thought it was my fault,” Polemeni said. “I was extremely embarrassed and ashamed.”

Polemeni’s family was active in the church and friendly with Walters, she said. Polemeni said that Walters once groped her buttocks and put his face in her breasts while he was in her family’s home.

During an eighth-grade class trip to the Poconos, Polemeni said Walters carried her around a swimming pool while fondling her breasts and buttocks for several minutes. Though her parents did not witness either incident, other people were around, she said.

The Rev. Michael “Mitch” Walters, who was removed from the ministry by the Archdiocese of Newark, has also been accused of abusing parishioners in Montclair.

“I also thought that that was just how men behaved,” Polemeni said. “That, sometimes they were creepy, and gross, and you just had to wait for them to go away.”

Ohlmuller, a former alter boy at the St. Cassian’s, alleges that Walters fondled him “many, many times” in the church’s confessional in 1982 when he was 12. Ohlmuller, who also spoke with NJ Advance Media, also said the priest kissed him.

Ohlmuller said he distanced himself from the church and struggled with anxiety and substance abuse as a result of the alleged sexual assaults.

He said he began having flashbacks to the alleged abuse last year when his son entered the sixth grade, the grade Ohlmuller was in when he alleges he was assaulted.

“I don’t want anyone else to go through this,” Ohlmuller said, so he contacted Bob Hoatson of Road to Recovery, a group that supports victims of sexual abuse. Hoatson, who put the victims in touch with Garabedian, commended the two for going public with their stories.

“Talk about courage,” Hoatson said. “The fact that they put their names on this…shows they are not just looking out for themselves, but also for the healing of so many others.”

Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, said the Archdiocese contacted authorities about the allegations but said no criminal charges have been filed against Walters.

Hoatson said his group often pursues civil suits because criminal statutes of limitation have expired in many clergy sex abuse cases.

Garabedian said he plans to continue to pursue cases that shed light on past abuses.

“It’s about empowering themselves, and making the world a safer place for children everywhere,” Garabedian said.

Though they are not seeking a specific amount in damages, the two plaintiffs said just filing the suits has brought them some sense of closure.

Polemeni, who works in a Catholic school in Ohio, said talking about the alleged abuse has been painful, but healing.

“My relationship with the Catholic Church is definitely a paradox,” she said. “It is where I have received the most hurt and the most shame, but also where I have received healing and grace.”

Jessica Mazzola may be reached at jmazzola@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @JessMazzola. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

 

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MEDIA RELEASE – OCTOBER 12, 2016

Two civil lawsuits by childhood sexual abuse victims, one a female and one a male, filed in Essex County, New Jersey Superior Court against Fr. Michael “Mitch” Walters, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey; St. Cassian’s Church and School, Upper Montclair, New Jersey; and the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey

David Ohlmuller (D.O.) and Danielle Polemeni (D.P.) claim that Fr. Michael “Mitch” Walters sexually abused them approximately during the years 1982 – 1983 when they were parishioners and students of St. Cassian’s Parish and School in Upper Montclair, New Jersey

David Ohlmuller(D.O.) and Danielle Polemeni (D.P.) seek justice through the civil courts of New Jersey.  They are two of six known childhood sexual abuse victims of Fr. Michael “Mitch” Walters

What
A press conference announcing the filing of two civil lawsuits in Essex County, New Jersey, Superior Court, on behalf of two childhood sexual abuse victims of Fr. Michael “Mitch” Walters, David Ohlmuller (D.O.) and Danielle Polemeni (D.P.)

When
Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Where
On the public sidewalk outside St. Cassian’s Roman Catholic Church, 187 Bellevue Avenue, Upper Montclair, New Jersey 07043

Who
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why
Fr. Michael “Mitch” Walters’ was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in approximately1981.  From approximately 1982 until 1989, he was assigned to St. Cassian’s Parish, Upper Montclair, New Jersey.  Six childhood sexual abuse victims of Fr. Michael “Mitch” Walters (one woman and five men) have come forward to report that they were sexually abused by Fr. Michael “Mitch” Walters while he was assigned to St. Cassian’s Parish, Upper Montclair, New Jersey (5 victims between approximately 1982 and 1985) and St. John Nepomucene Parish in Guttenberg, New Jersey (1 victim in approximately 1994).  Recently, two of the alleged victims of Fr. Walters, David Ohlmuller (D.O.) and Danielle Polemeni (D.P.), filed separate civil lawsuits in Essex County, New Jersey, Superior Court, alleging that between approximately 1982 and 1983, Fr. Michael “Mitch” Walters sexually abused them while they were parishioners and students at St. Cassian’s Parish in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.  Copies of the lawsuits will be available.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc., 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA, 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

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News Article from The New York Daily News

Gov. Cuomo says New York Archdiocese’s cash settlements for child sex abuse victims is just first step toward justice 

Gov. Cuomo has promised to make the issue of statue of limitations in child abuse cases a priority in the 2017 legislative session after the Child Victims Act failed to pass.

(Todd Maisel/New York Daily News)

A New York Archdiocese plan offering cash settlements to sex abuse victims with no statue of limitations is a positive step — but hardly the last one, Gov. Cuomo says.A Cuomo spokesman, one day after Timothy Cardinal Dolan unveiled his Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, said new laws were needed to provide compensation to all targets of sexual abuse.“We must continue to work to ensure all victims have the opportunity to get the justice they deserve and this means a global legislative solution,” said gubernatorial spokesman Rich Azzopardi.Cuomo has promised to make the issue of statue of limitations in child abuse cases a priority in 2017 after the Child Victims Act failed again this year in the state Legislature.Cardinal Dolan: We hope new program will help abuse victims healCurrently in New York, victims must bring civil suits before their 23rd birthday against their attackers.The Daily News led efforts earlier this year to pass the oft-defeated legislation, first introduced a decade ago.The church’s IRCP would only apply to victims of church clergy sexual abuse within the boundaries of the archdiocese. Some of the first 170 cases involved date back decades.

Under the plan announced by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, victims who accept a settlement from the Archdiocese surrender their right to file a civil suit.

Critics of Dolan’s response to the sex scandal in the Catholic Church stood outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral to express their skepticism.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan unveils new program for sex abuse victims

“One of my questions for Cardinal Dolan is ‘Where have you been?’” said Bob Hoatson, president of the victims’ support group Road to Recovery. “We find the timing of this suspicious.”

Hoatson suggested the new program was pre-emptive because of the inevitability of state legislation reforming the statute of limitations aspect of the law.

Victims who accept a settlement from the Archdiocese surrender their right to file a civil suit under the program’s rules.

Mitchell Garabedian, the Boston attorney who has represented hundreds sex abuse victims, said there was a feeling among some that the settlement deals would allow the church to keep its secrets.

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News Article from       news12-logo-bx_n12THE BRONX

NY Archdiocese announces victim compensation program

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York says it has hired an independent administrator to oversee and compensate previous victims of sexual abuse by church leaders. (10/6/16)

 NEW YORK – The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York announced Thursday that it has hired an independent administrator to oversee and compensate previous victims of sexual abuse by church leaders.

The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program is an oversight committee headed by attorney Kenneth Feinberg. It is aimed at compensating about 170 sexual abuse survivors who previously submitted complaints to the archdiocese over the past 40 years.

The program consists of two phases. The first, which begins immediately, is to compensate previous victims. The second phase will deal with newer cases of alleged sexual abuse by clergy.

The archdiocese says the program is unique because the independent committee has total authority over how much victims receive from the church.

Officials say there is no cap on the compensation awarded to victims; however, once they agree to a settlement, the victims give up their right to further lawsuits against the archdiocese.

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MEDIA RELEASE – OCTOBER 3, 2016

Convicted pedophile and former Catholic Church worker, Ricardo Gonzalez, is sued by three childhood sexual abuse victims whom Ricardo Gonzalez admitted in criminal court to sexually abusing.  Attorney Mitchell Garabedian represents the three childhood sexual abuse victims, now adults, and filed the civil complaint on their behalf

One of the childhood sexual abuse victims of Ricard Gonzalez was an altar server at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in East Boston, MA, from approximately 1987-1989 when Ricardo Gonzalez was working at and affiliated with Our Lady of the Assumption Parish.  Another childhood sexual abuse victim of Ricardo Gonzalez was an altar server at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish from approximately 1988-1991 when Ricardo Gonzalez was working at and affiliated with Our Lady of the Assumption Parish

 The third childhood sexual abuse victim of Ricardo Gonzalez was a student at the Donald McKay Elementary School in East Boston from approximately 1992-1993 when he met Ricardo Gonzalez who then was a member of the school’s faculty and/or an administrator at the school.  Ricardo Gonzalez began sexually abusing the third victim approximately in the summer of 1993 until approximately 1995

What
A demonstration regarding the filing of a civil lawsuit in Middlesex County, MA Superior Court on behalf of three childhood sexual abuse victims of a pedophile, Ricardo Gonzalez, who is a former Catholic Church worker from Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in East Boston, MA, and a teacher/administrator at the Donald Mc Kay Elementary School in East Boston, MA

When
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 11:30 am

Where
On the public sidewalk outside Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, 404 Sumner Street, East Boston, MA 02128

Who
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President, Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why
Ricardo Gonzalez worked at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in East Boston, MA, from approximately 1987 until 1992, where he trained, supervised, counseled, directed and sexually abused two minor children who were parishioners and altar servers at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, East Boston, MA.  Ricardo Gonzalez also sexually abused a minor child who had just completed elementary school in approximately 1993 at the Donald Mc Kay School in East Boston and was about to start at a new school.  Ricardo Gonzalez sexually abused the third boy from approximately 1993-1995.  The two men who were minor children and altar servers at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish from approximately 1987-1991 and the third man who was about to begin a new school have filed a civil lawsuit against Ricardo Gonzalez, in Middlesex County, MA, Superior Court.  The Plaintiffs suffer from the effects of having been sexually abused and seek healing, validation, and recovery.  Ricardo Gonzalez, who admitted in criminal court to sexually abusing all three minor children, is currently incarcerated at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Facility in Shirley, MA, for these crimes.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com

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News Article from logo

Local priest accused of sexual abuse permanently removed from ministry

Archdiocese of New York finds allegations against Monsignor John O’Keefe’s credible

 The alleged victims of a former Pearl River priest and Westchester Catholic school leader accused of sexual abuse are resting a little easier today, knowing he has been permanently removed from his ministry

The allegations against Monsignor John O’Keefe’s go back for more than 30 years ago. He was suspended last year for allegedly sexually abusing a student on class trips in Virginia and Ulster County.

Two other male victims have come forward since then and their allegations were found credible…

“…To the point where the review board of the Archdiocese of New York was unanimous in its recommendation to Cardinal Dolan that Monsignor O’Keefe be removed permanently,” said Dr. Robert Hoatson, President of Road to Recovery.

Others say O’keefe’s alleged abuse started even earlier, when he was a guidance counselor at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx.

After working at Cardinal Hayes, O’keefe was the leader of Catholic education at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains. Most recently, he had been serving St. Margaret of Antioch Parish in Pearl River.

With O’keefe offically removed from practice, Hoatson and others are furious with Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan wondering why they are the ones releasing this information to the public.

“…I believe cardinal Dolan wanted to keep a lid as much as he could on this information because its very embarrassing to him as the cardinal and its embarrassing to the Archdiocese of New York,” Dr. Hoatson says.

Cardinal Dolan has not directly responded to the allegations. As for the anonymous victims, the statute of limitation has been reached. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian has reached out for a settlement with the Archdiocese. He also says O’keefe still needs supervision.

Going forward, O’keefe can be defrocked from the Vatican. That process can take three to six years.

Nonprofit Road to Recovery is also working to pass the Child Victims Act to remove the statute of limitations keeping victims from getting the closure they need.

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News Article from news12-logo-wc_n12

Pearl River priest removed from ministry over alleged sex abuse

 The archbishop of New York permanently removed a Pearl River priest from his ministry Tuesday because of sex abuse allegations. (9/27/16)
 YONKERS – The archbishop of New York permanently removed a Pearl River priest from his ministry Tuesday because of sex abuse allegations.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan removed Monsignor John O’Keefe because of sex abuse allegations from 30 years ago when he was on the faculty of Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx during the 1980s. O’Keefe has been stationed as pastor of Saint Margaret of Antioch Parish in Pearl River since 2003, but was first removed in December.

“I’m sorry about that, I wish him good luck and I also hope that it works out the right way,” parishioner Ed Fitzpatrick says.

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News Article from site-masthead-logo2x

Former Pearl River priest removed from ministry

“This claim is another example of why the statute of limitations has to be amended so that victims of sexual abuse can try to heal,” said Mitchell Garabedian, lawyer for the accuser.

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A former Pearl River priest and Westchester Catholic school leader accused of sexual abuse has been permanently removed from his ministry by the Archdiocese of New York, according to a lawyer for his alleged victim.

Monsignor John O’Keefe, who served for more than a decade as president at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, had been suspended last year from St. Margaret of Antioch Parish in Pearl River after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor on two occasions — in New York and Virginia — more than three decades ago.

EARLIER STORY: Pearl River priest suspended after sex abuse claim 

RELATED: Dolan sends rep to Pearl River Mass

The announcement of O’Keefe’s status was made Sunday afternoon by New Jersey-based nonprofit Road to Recovery Inc., which helps victims of sexual abuse. It issued a joint press release with Mitchell Garabedian, the lawyer for the accuser, who said he had been informed of the action by a church official.

Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said the archdiocese would not make public statements on the case until the process is completed, which includes bringing the matter to the Holy See, the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Vatican City.

But a church official confirmed to The Journal News that O’Keefe will never be permitted to function again as a priest.

The archdiocese continues to be responsible for providing O’Keefe with a place to live. Zwilling said he could not comment on where O’Keefe has been living since his suspension.

O’Keefe has not been charged with any crimes; authorities said both incidents are beyond the statute of limitations.

Garabedian said his client was abused by O’Keefe between 1981 and 1983 while a student at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, where O’Keefe was a teacher and guidance counselor. The alleged abuse happened in a Virginia hotel room during a school trip to Washington, D.C., and at the Irish Christian Brothers’ retreat house in Esopus, New York, during a weekend leadership training program.

O’Keefe’s suspension was announced in a Dec. 16, 2015, letter to parishioners from New York’s archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who called the allegation “credible.” O’Keefe, who was on leave at the time for medical issues, denied the allegations.

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said in 2015 that there had been no allegations of misconduct made against O’Keefe in Rockland County. Zugibe’s office, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to inquiries about whether any further allegations against O’Keefe had surfaced since then.

Frank Pagani, a spokesman for Archbishop Stepinac High School, said the school posted a letter to its website after the suspension urging anyone with concerns or suspicions to come forward, but said there had been no reports so far.

Garabedian, whose firm is in Boston, has represented hundreds of victims of sexual assault before and after The Boston Globe ran a series of stories in 2002 exposing widespread allegations of sexual abuse by priests. The Globe’s reporting was the focus of a 2015 Oscar-winning movie, “Spotlight.”

“I’ve requested the archdiocese compensate my client financially so his claim can be validated and he can try to move on and he can try to heal,” said Garabedian.

“This claim is another example of why the statute of limitations has to be amended so that victims of sexual abuse can try to heal,” he added.

O’Keefe was named the first president of Archbishop Stepinac High School in 1992 and served as the school’s leader for 11 years. He was reassigned to St. Margaret’s in 2003.

MEDIA RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

 MONSIGNOR JOHN J. O’KEEFE PERMANENTLY REMOVED FROM MINISTRY IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK BECAUSE OF CREDIBLE CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIMS

Monsignor John J. O’Keefe, suspended Pastor of St. Margaret of Antioch Parish in Pearl River, New York, former Principal of Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York, former teacher and guidance counselor at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, New York, and former parish priest of Christ the King Parish in the Bronx, New York, has been removed permanently from serving as a priest by Cardinal Timothy Dolan because of credible childhood sexual abuse claims

One childhood sexual abuse victim of Monsignor John J. O’Keefe was sexually abused in two locations on separate occasions: 

 1)  In a hotel room in Virginia during a Cardinal Hayes High School trip to Washington, DC, to visit with a Hispanic Congressman and tour the nation’s Capital, in the 1980s; and,

 2)  At the Irish Christian Brothers’ novitiate retreat house, Santa Maria, in Esopus (West Park), New York, during a “Cardinal’s Leadership Program” training weekend for Hispanic youth when he was a student at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, New York, in the 1980s

Why has Cardinal Timothy Dolan NOT announced that Monsignor John J. O’Keefe has been removed permanently from ministry as a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, and why has Cardinal Dolan not announced that the sexual abuse case against Monsignor John J. O’Keefe has or has not been sent to the Vatican for Monsignor O’Keefe’s removal from the priesthood? 

 What
A press conference announcing the permanent removal from priestly ministry of Monsignor John J. O’Keefe, a well-known priest of the Archdiocese of New York, who has spent decades in ministry to children in schools and parishes, and as Director of the “Cardinal’s Leadership Program” for Hispanic youth

When
Monday, September 26, 2016 at Noon

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of  St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fifth Avenue and East 50th Street, Manhattan

Who
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why
“John Doe” met then Father John J. O’Keefe at Christ the King Parish in the Bronx in approximately 1975 when he was a minor child and a parishioner of Christ the King Parish.  He did simple jobs in the rectory and was an altar boy.  Father John J. O’Keefe then became a teacher and guidance counselor at a nearby Bronx high school, Cardinal Hayes High School, where “John Doe” attended high school.  When “John Doe” was approximately 15-17 years old and a student at Cardinal Hayes High School, he was sexually abused by Father John J. O’Keefe during two school-sponsored events.  “John Doe” was invited to accompany Monsignor John J. O’Keefe and a group of Cardinal Hayes High School students on a school trip to the Washington, DC area, where Monsignor John J. O’Keefe sexually abused “John Doe” in a hotel room in Virginia.   Sometime later, as Director of the “Cardinal’s Leadership Program” for Hispanic youth, Father John J. O’Keefe, who was rewarded with the title “Monsignor” by the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, sexually abused “John Doe” during a leadership training weekend at the novitiate retreat house of the Irish Christian Brothers, Santa Maria, in Ulster County, New York.  “John  Doe” suffered significant damages as a result of the sexual abuse by Monsignor John J. O’Keefe, including dropping out of Fordham University, because of the effects of the sexual abuse.

It will be demanded on behalf of “John Doe” and the other childhood sexual abuse victims of Monsignor John J. O’Keefe that Cardinal Timothy Dolan:

1) Investigate the “Cardinal’s Leadership Program” for Hispanic youth, reach out to those Hispanic young men who were part of that program and may have been sexually abused, and provide the necessary resources to help those men heal;

2) Announce publicly that Monsignor John J. O’Keefe has been removed from priestly ministry permanently and that he will be monitored on a full-time basis; and,

3) Confirm that the Vatican has received the sexual abuse file of Monsignor John J. O’Keefe so he may be removed from the priesthood.

“The secrecy of the Archdiocese of New York surrounding the sexual abuse of an innocent child by Monsignor John J. O’Keefe is another example of why statute of limitations laws must be changed to help sexual abuse victims heal and to protect innocent children.” – Attorney Mitchell Garabedian

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. – Road to Recovery, Inc., 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian – Boston, MA – 617-523-6250

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MEDIA RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 18, 2016 – “WALK ACROSS THE DELAWARE”

Road to Recovery, Inc. was proud to be the lead organization in today’s “Walk Across the Delaware” from Morrisville, PA, to Trenton, NJ, to shed light on the need for stronger and fairer laws in all States of the United States regarding sexual abuse of children, teenagers, and vulnerable adults, but especially in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. 

Marchers from New York State, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey joined march directors Fred (Board Member of Road to Recovery, Inc.) and Maggie Marigliano in an important public demonstration that highlighted pending laws in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the States of New York and New Jersey that would give sexual abuse victims access to the courthouses in each State. 

Senator Joseph Vitale of New Jersey, who has been working on justice legislation regarding sexual abuse for nearly twenty years, attended the march and urged attendees to continue to fight for laws that are fair.  In New Jersey, for example, Senate Bill 280 will be introduced in the near future and it is hoped that New Jersey legislators will pass legislation that gives sexual abuse victims the opportunity to hold their abusers accountable.

When the approximately two-mile walk ended at the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton, speaker after speaker appealed to the legislators in all three states to pass legislation that will finally and conclusively give sexual abuse victims the justice they deserve. 

Arthur Baselice, who lost his son as a result of clergy sexual abuse in Philadelphia, urged Pennsylvania lawmakers to do the right thing and pass House Bill 1947 in Harrisburg in the near future.  Ana Wagner, who organized the highly successful walk across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City several weeks ago, pledged to continue the fight in her state to enact victim-friendly legislation.  And, a host of New Jersey speakers repeated their calls for laws in New Jersey that will stop shielding predators and give victims the justice they seek.

Road to Recovery, Inc. will continue its mission to help victims of sexual abuse throughout the world as it has for almost fifteen years, and victims may call the Road to Recovery, Inc. hotline at 862-368-2800 for assistance.  Congratulations to all!

Contact
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President, Road to Recovery, Inc. – roberthoatson@gmail.com

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SPECIAL EVENT

Walk to End SOL PA to NJ, Sunday, September 18, 2016

Starting Location:

Morrisville Shopping Center Parking Lot

1 East Trenton Avenue

Morrisville, PA 19067

         

********** Meeting in the parking lot at 11:00 AM **********

        Begin Walking at 12:00 Noon

  • Left out of the parking lot, at the corner of East Trenton Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue, traveling North on North Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk towards East Bridge Street.
  • Left onto East Bridge Street to the Lower Trenton Bridge.
  • Cross the Lower Trenton Bridge via the walkway into Trenton, NJ
  • Follow Bridge Street to merge onto South Warren Street
  • Continue on South Warren Street to Front Street
  • Left onto Front Street to Barrack Street
  • Right onto Barrack Street
  • Left onto State Street, arriving at the State House 411 State Street, Trenton, NJ

Gathering on the sidewalk in front of the State House for a rally.

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MEDIA RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

The Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball continue to ignore and re-victimize more than twenty (20) childhood sexual abuse victims of former Red Sox equipment and clubhouse manager, Donald Fitzpatrick, and will not allow them to try to heal by fairly and reasonably settling their claims

What
A demonstration and leafleting regarding the refusal on the part of the Boston Red Sox organization and Major League Baseball to help more than twenty (20) childhood sexual abuse victims of Red Sox equipment and clubhouse manager, Donald Fitzpatrick, heal

When
Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm

Where
On the public sidewalk in Kenmore Square, Boston, MA before the Red Sox/Yankees game

Who
Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families.

Why
The Boston Red Sox organization has done great work in the community concerning “Boston Strong,” the “Jimmy Fund,” and earlier settlements of millions of dollars regarding sexual abuse claims against a former Red Sox equipment and clubhouse manager, Donald Fitzpatrick.  One of the ways the Red Sox served the communities in the cities in which they trained and played was to allow young boys to work as “assistants” to their equipment and clubhouse manager.

Many boys, mostly from the inner-city, had their dreams come true when they were selected to work in the clubhouses of many ballparks in the United States, but those dreams quickly became nightmares when they were sexually abused in some ballparks by a serial pedophile, Donald Fitzpatrick, the long-time equipment and clubhouse manager of the Boston Red Sox.

It is therefore disappointing and surprising that the Red Sox organization and Major League Baseball refuse to help more than twenty (20) childhood sexual abuse victims of Donald Fitzpatrick who sexually abused minor boys in Fenway Park, Boston; the Orioles ballpark in Baltimore, MD; the Kansas City, MO, ballpark; and the training facility of the Red Sox in Winter Haven, FL. 

In 2011, Attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston issued a financial demand letter to the Boston Red Sox on behalf of the more than twenty (20) sexual abuse victims of Donald Fitzpatrick, who died in 2005 while serving a ten-year suspended sentence and fifteen years’ probation for attempted sexual battery against boys younger than twelve.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian also contacted the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, Robert D. Manfred, requesting the cooperation of and assistance of Major League Baseball in resolving the claims of the more than twenty (20) sexual abuse victims of Donald Fitzpatrick who seek to obtain settlements that will validate their claims and help them try to heal.

Demonstrators will call on Boston Red Sox fans, New York Yankee fans, all fans of baseball, and the general public to join Donald Fitzpatrick’s sexual abuse victims’ request for justice and fairness.  All sexual abuse victims of Donald Fitzpatrick should be proud of themselves for coming forward, reporting the truth, and making the world a safer place for children.

Contact
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. – Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com

****************************************************************************************************************

News Article from images-duckduckgo-com

NCAA FB

Penn State honors Joe Paterno during game despite controversy

1474159813194
Joe Paterno during a Penn State game in 2009.  (REUTERS/Jeff Haynes/File)

Penn State paid tribute Saturday to Joe Paterno on the 50th anniversary of his first game, despite criticism that the ceremonies are insensitive to victims in the university’s sex abuse scandal.

Early in the second quarter in the matchup with in-state rival Temple, Beaver Stadium announcer Dean DeVore directed an announced 100,420 fans’ attention to two high-definition video boards for a two-minute video featuring highlights of Paterno’s career.

Another video played in the third quarter, this one dedicated to Paterno and his widow Sue, and it featured their $4 million donation put toward expanding the library and local hospital.

As soon as Paterno’s familiar image — shirt and tie, thick glasses and rolled-up pants– appeared, fans erupted and kept cheering as DeVore read from a statement highlighting Paterno’s commitment to student-athletes and academics.

“Before he became head coach in 1966, Joe Paterno spoke about recruiting more football players who were exceptional students,” DeVore said. “He was determined to bring to Penn State students who could earn a world-class education and graduate and play football at the highest level.”

Paterno’s “Grand Experiment,” which placed emphasis on academics and proved athletes could also be top students, is a source of pride for Penn Staters who credit Paterno for giving the university an identity to be proud of.

The weekend’s festivities, including a non-university event to commemorate the coach organized by Paterno’s family and former players on Friday night, have fueled debate over whether Paterno should be celebrated in any way after his role in the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Sandusky coached on Paterno’s staff for three decades until 1999. Paterno said before his death from lung cancer in 2012 that, with the benefit of hindsight, wished he’d done more to stop Sandusky.

In May, unsealed court documents said a victim complained to Paterno about Sandusky in 1976 and was rebuffed. The university’s president, Eric Barron, has said the allegation was not substantiated in court or tested by any other process.

Sandusky was convicted on 45 of 48 charges in June 2012 and is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence. Paterno was never charged with a crime related to the scandal.

Tom Kline, the attorney for the first of Sandusky’s victims to reach a settlement with Penn State, said in a statement that those celebrating Paterno’s accomplishments should remain mindful of his role in the scandal.

“While Penn State has chosen to officially celebrate the achievements of Joe Paterno, of which there have been many, no one should forget the failings which caused so much pain and anguish to the victims of Jerry Sandusky who have suffered so much for so long,” Kline said.

Moving forward has proven a difficult challenge for Penn State, requiring leaders to balance distancing the university from the scandal while juggling the wishes of Paterno’s ardent supporters who believe he was a scapegoat.

Prominent former players have led the defense of their coach, whose career included 409 victories, the most in college football history. But it ended with a phone call from the board of trustees who fired him amid the Sandusky scandal.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Franco Harris said Friday that Penn State’s acknowledgment of Paterno’s achievements was a “good first step” but said he’d like to see a formal apology to the Paterno family from the board of trustees.

“I don’t tie the two together,” Harris said Friday. “There’s the board of trustees and there’s Penn State. There should be an apology for the way they handled it. I think they handled it wrong and I think they got bad advice from the lawyers and the lawyers got it wrong and they handled it wrong.”

He and fellow Penn State star Lydell Mitchell stood at the site where a statue of Paterno was removed by the university shortly after the scandal broke and talked with fans before Saturday’s game.  Fans left bricks, homemade signs and took pictures. One woman wiped a tear from her eye as she placed a brick at the site about two hours before kickoff.

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News Article from The Columbus Dispatch  buckeyextra

Big Ten football | Penn State honors Paterno during game despite criticism

 Phoebe Sheehan | Centre Daily Times  Request to buy this photopenn-sign-1
Robert Hoatson protests outside the Penn State game where Joe Paterno was honored.
By Travis Johnson The Associated Press  •  Saturday September 17, 2016 5:10 PM
 
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State paid tribute Saturday to Joe Paterno on the 50th anniversary of his first game, despite criticism that the ceremonies are insensitive to victims in the university’s sex abuse scandal.Early in the second quarter in the matchup with in-state rival Temple, Beaver Stadium announcer Dean DeVore directed an announced 100,420 fans’ attention to two high-definition video boards for a two-minute video featuring highlights of Paterno’s career.Another video played in the third quarter, this one dedicated to Paterno and his widow Sue, and it featured their $4 million donation put toward expanding the library and local hospital.

As soon as Paterno’s familiar image — shirt and tie, thick glasses and rolled-up pants— appeared, fans erupted and kept cheering as DeVore read from a statement highlighting Paterno’s commitment to student-athletes and academics.

“Before he became head coach in 1966, Joe Paterno spoke about recruiting more football players who were exceptional students,” DeVore said. “He was determined to bring to Penn State students who could earn a world-class education and graduate and play football at the highest level.”

Paterno’s “Grand Experiment,” which placed emphasis on academics and proved athletes could also be top students, is a source of pride for Penn Staters who credit Paterno for giving the university an identity to be proud of.

The weekend’s festivities, including a non-university event to commemorate the coach organized by Paterno’s family and former players on Friday night, have fueled debate over whether Paterno should be celebrated in any way after his role in the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Sandusky coached on Paterno’s staff for three decades until 1999. Paterno said before his death from lung cancer in 2012 that, with the benefit of hindsight, wished he’d done more to stop Sandusky.

In May, unsealed court documents said a victim complained to Paterno about Sandusky in 1976 and was rebuffed. The university’s president, Eric Barron, has said the allegation was not substantiated in court or tested by any other process.

Sandusky was convicted on 45 of 48 charges in June 2012 and is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence. Paterno was never charged with a crime related to the scandal.

Tom Kline, the attorney for the first of Sandusky’s victims to reach a settlement with Penn State, said in a statement that those celebrating Paterno’s accomplishments should remain mindful of his role in the scandal.

“While Penn State has chosen to officially celebrate the achievements of Joe Paterno, of which there have been many, no one should forget the failings which caused so much pain and anguish to the victims of Jerry Sandusky who have suffered so much for so long,” Kline said.

Moving forward has proven a difficult challenge for Penn State, requiring leaders to balance distancing the university from the scandal while juggling the wishes of Paterno’s ardent supporters who believe he was a scapegoat.

Prominent former players have led the defense of their coach, whose career included 409 victories, the most in college football history. But it ended with a phone call from the board of trustees who fired him amid the Sandusky scandal.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Franco Harris said Friday that Penn State’s acknowledgment of Paterno’s achievements was a “good first step” but said he’d like to see a formal apology to the Paterno family from the board of trustees.

“I don’t tie the two together,” Harris said Friday. “There’s the board of trustees and there’s Penn State. There should be an apology for the way they handled it. I think they handled it wrong and I think they got bad advice from the lawyers and the lawyers got it wrong and they handled it wrong.”

He and fellow Penn State star Lydell Mitchell stood at the site where a statue of Paterno was removed by the university shortly after the scandal broke and talked with fans before Saturday’s game.

Fans left bricks, homemade signs and took pictures. One woman wiped a tear from her eye as she placed a brick at the site about two hours before kickoff.

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News Article from timesunion

Ex-players celebrate Paterno

School to honor 50th anniversary of late coach’s debut
Published 10:33 pm, Friday, September 16, 2016

As night fell over Happy Valley on Friday, hundreds of Joe Paterno‘s former players gathered outside the school’s baseball stadium to celebrate their accomplishments and the coach who inspired them before he left a polarizing legacy.

About 50 yards from where a statue of Paterno was removed by the university after the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, and Paterno’s possible role in it, rocked the small Central Pennsylvania town in 2011, former players hugged, laughed and told stories about Paterno as they filed into the private ceremony.

 Jimmy Cefalo, who played for Paterno from 1974-77 before embarking on a broadcasting career, called the late coach “the most influential man in my life other than my father.”

He said his opinion of Paterno, who coached at Penn State for 46 years, remains unchanged.

“Joe will always be someone who took me out of a very small town and gave me a wonderful opportunity,” Cefalo said. “I don’t know how many people would say he was my mentor and someone who gave me a great deal of my life and then change your opinion about him. It doesn’t happen very often and it shouldn’t happen to any of us.”

It’s a sentiment shared by many of the men gathered there but not by a large group who view Paterno as a villain in the Sandusky scandal. For them, Paterno didn’t do enough to stop Sandusky, an assistant on Paterno’s staff for three decades, and believe honoring Paterno in any way is insensitive to Sandusky’s victims and the severity of the scandal.

Paterno said he’d wished he had done more before he died from lung cancer in 2012.

Robert Hoatson was the only protestor who showed up. He said he drove in from New Jersey, identified himself as a victim of sexual abuse with no ties to Penn State and said he was “outraged” the university would honor Paterno’s head coaching debut. Penn State plans to do that during Saturday’s game against Temple.

Hoatson stood across the street from the stadium’s entrance with two large signs — one reading “You already forgot” the other “sexual abuse of little boys and girls is soul murder.”

“I’m just outraged that Penn State, even in the midst of so much still going on with the trials coming up of administrators, with the recent information that Joe Paterno did know in the ’70s at the least that kids were being sexually abused by Jerry Sandusky,” said Hoatson, who founded and operates a sexual abuse support network called Road 2 Recovery. “It’s just outrageous that they have a celebration of Joe Paterno. It’s as if these poor little kids who were sexually abused here don’t matter.”

Hoatson was referring to court documents unsealed in May that said an alleged Sandusky victim complained to Paterno about Sandusky in 1976 and was rebuffed. The university’s president, Eric Barron, has said the allegation was not substantiated in court or tested by any other process. Paterno was never charged with a crime related to the scandal.

Sandusky was convicted on 45 of 48 charges in June 2012 and is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence.

Former Penn State standout and Pittsburgh Steelers star Franco Harris has long been a supporter of Paterno and has insisted college football’s winningest coach did nothing wrong.

Penn State will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Paterno’s coaching debut in addition to his commitment to student-athletes and academics.

Members of the Paterno family would not comment during the event that was closed to reporters.

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News Article from PA Penn Live

Joe Paterno’s legacy a complicated one for Penn Staters who bleed blue and white

Joe Paterno in his first season as head coach of the Penn State University football team in 1966. (Used with permission from the Eberly Family Special Collections Library, Penn State University Libraries)

Wallace McKelvey | WMckelvey@pennlive.com By Wallace McKelvey | WMckelvey@pennlive.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on September 16, 2016 at 8:55 PM

STATE COLLEGE — It’s Friday night in Nittanyville and everyone’s thoughts are on JoePa, even if few people are willing to speak about the football coach’s fraught 50-year legacy.

“Don’t talk to the media,” barked a stout man in a scraggly goatee and white Penn State tee to a young woman in a camping chair.

The senior turned to the reporter, biting the side of her cheek: “I’m sorry. I was told not to comment.”

The man, who declined to give his name, said he was part of the executive board for Nittanyville, the student organization that oversees the community of makeshift tents that spring up around each Penn State home game. Its members have converged on Beaver Stadium during winning seasons, rainy weather and even the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal that rocked the campus in 2011.

Across the street, at Medlar Field, event staff erected blue curtains to shield a reunion of former Penn State football players — dubbed “Grand Experiment: A Golden Legacy” — from the public and the TV cameras. The private event is part of a weekend-long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Joe Paterno’s first game.

Paterno, of course, faced allegations that he turned a blind eye to Sandusky’s crimes. The storied coach never faced criminal charges himself and died in January 2012, a few short months after the scandal broke.

Robert Hoatson, a 64-year-old former priest and victims advocate, positioned himself at the intersection of Curtin and Porter roads, within view of both Nittanyville and Medlar Field, sandwiched between signs commemorating the Sandusky case.

“You forgot already,” one of them read.

10

Hoatson said he came out to make sure the other side of the story — those of Sandusky’s victims — was heard amid the festivities on either side of him. That, he said, is an important part of Paterno’s legacy that shouldn’t be forgotten.

“A lot of kids were injured under his watch,” he said. “This,” he added, gesturing toward the alumni reunion, “is just outlandish.”

As he stood at the corner, passing cars honked their horns and one driver after another gestured with their middle fingers. “Get out of here,” shouted a young woman in an SUV. “You’re an idiot,” rejoined a middle-aged man in a white pick-up.

“It happens all the time,” Hoatson said, “No one wants to be reminded of what happened here.”

A grad student wandered through the intersection, taking in the sights and sounds. He plopped down on a bench next to this reporter to speak, one outsider to another.

“I don’t really have any connection to it,” he said. “I’m just trying to understand it.”

When it comes to Paterno’s legacy, the grad student said he tries to analyze it with an academic’s remove. He wants to understand why it has inspired such strong emotions without arriving at his own conclusion. Like some of the others, though, he worries that his words may come back to hurt him.

“I don’t want anything I say to affect the review process,” he said, referring to the academic publications he’ll be graded on.

Not everyone held their silence, however. At least not at first.

The Daily Collegian, Penn State’s student newspaper, issued an editorial rebuffing the Paterno celebrations: “In light of these past years—even these past few weeks—this is in no way the right time or manner to ‘commemorate’ him, if he even deserves to be so.”

On Friday, a freshman and his senior resident assistant tossed a football back and forth in front of Beaver Stadium. It arced loosely through the air.

Sean O’Neill, the 22-year-old RA, said his own freshman year RA introduced him to Nittanyville in 2013. Ever since, he’s tried to make it out to every home game. An entire cycle of undergraduates have come and gone since the Sandusky scandal broke, but O’Neill said it’s a reality every student lives with today.

To this day, he’s bothered by the malicious and joking way some people treat the Sandusky case. That includes, for example, the “Joe Knew” t-shirts some Pitt University fans wore to a recent game.

“It’s tough because a lot of people are hurt and a lot of people are upset,” he said. “At some point, you have to move forward.”

From his perspective, O’Neill said, he tries to separate Joe Paterno, the coach who led the Nittany Lions to 409 wins, from Joe Paterno, the man. “But to ignore it is the worst thing,” he added.

The freshman, Alex Vandenberg, shares a similar view.

Both of his parents are Penn State alums, he said, and he’s been coming to football games his entire life.

“I always bleed blue and white,” the 18-year-old said, and the Sandusky revelations were hard to take.

Vandenberg said it’s important for people to remember both the man and the coach, but that honoring his achievements on the field should be separate from questions about his treatment of Sandusky.

Of course, a growing contingent of students — particularly those who haven’t bled blue and white their whole lives — don’t remember Paterno at all. On his year’s Facebook group, he said, some classmates recount having to explain JoePa to other freshmen.

“They should read about him—the good and the bad—and make an informed opinion,” Vandenberg said.

Later, after some of their peers spread the word that students should not speak to the press, O’Neill approached this reporter.

“Do you think I could take back what I said before?”

“That’s not how journalism works,” this reporter replied, “and you didn’t say anything controversial anyway.”

“I just don’t want to, you know, say anything that would reflect badly on Nittanyville.”

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BREAKING NEWS

News Article from  ChurchMilitant

Settlement Reached in PA Homosexual Brother Abuse Case

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News: US News

by Joseph Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 14, 2016   

Br. Stephen Baker allegedly molested over 100 young boys

YOUNGSTOWN, Pa. (ChurchMilitant.com) – A settlement has been reached in the case of three Franciscan brothers accused of protecting a homosexual friar allegedly responsible for molesting over 100 young boys.

The terms of the out-of-court settlement, which were publicly released Tuesday, reveal that the diocese of Youngstown, Pennsylvania and the Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular, Province of the Immaculate Conception, are responsible for paying out $900,000 to 28 individuals who claim they were sexually abused by Br. Stephen Baker while he worked at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Additional clauses hold the diocese responsible for paying fees for counseling accrued by the alleged victims.

The three friars in question — Giles Schinelli, 73; Robert D’Aversa, 69; and Anthony M. Criscitelli, 61 — served successively as provincial ministers of the Franciscan Friars,  in western Pennsylvania from 1986 to 2010, and as such were responsible for members of the order, including Br. Baker, who killed himself in 2013 after allegations leveled against him were made public. All three friars were awaiting trial following a hearing in mid-April.

The settlement, which had been reached in March, was only made public after victims’ advocate group Road to Recovery held a press conference Tuesday, during which the terms were publicly disclosed.

The nearly $1 million settlement, which averages around $32,000 for each victim, has been labeled “offensive” and “insulting” by New England attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represented the 28 plaintiffs. “Many of my clients felt re-victimized,” remarked Garabedian, who gained nationwide recognition for handling the homosexual priest abuse scandal in Boston in 2002.

The attorney notes that the per-victim settlements are significantly less than those received by other victims of Baker in 2013. “It is unfortunate that the diocese of Youngstown and the Franciscans weren’t respectful enough to my clients to at least offer the same amount of money they offered earlier victims in Ohio,” Garabedian stated Tuesday. 

Following the release of the settlement terms, victims’ advocate groups held protests outside of the diocesan offices, a move the chancellor of the Youngstown diocese admitted surprised him. Speaking on behalf of the diocese, Msgr. John Zuraw asserted his belief that the resolution was “copacetic.” 

“I think it’s important to realize the agreements were signed by all parties involved,” the monsignor noted. The intention behind keeping the settlement private, Zuraw claims, was to avoid re-victimizing the alleged abuse victims “by opening up old wounds.”

Diocesan arguments, however, are not being bought by victim’s advocates, with Road to Recovery founder Robert Hoatson alleging the Youngstown diocese simply took advantage of the purported victims. “They know the victims have no other options,” he maintained. 

Only 27 of the 28 plaintiffs are living, with Barbara Aponte pursuing the settlement on behalf of her son, Luke Bradesku, who committed suicide at 26 years old in 2003. While Aponte maintains the settlement is insufficient, she agreed to the terms in order to put an end to the case, which she contends was “hard.”

To date, the various dioceses of Youngstown and Altoona-Johnstown in Pennsylvania have paid over $8 million in settlements to victims of Br. Baker. 

The allegations against Br. Baker resurfaced in early 2016 following the release of a grand jury report unveiling a massive, systematic cover-up of abusive homosexual priests perpetrated by various members of the Church hierarchy in Pennsylvania. Within the report were details revealing Baker had been assigned to Bishop McCort High School by Friar Schinelli despite knowledge the friar had previously abused minors. While at the high school, Baker volunteered to serve as the school’s athletic trainer, despite having no experience or training, and allegedly used the position to molest male high school students, including giving massages to high school males “so they could run faster,” according to one witness’ testimony.

Also among those who gave testimony Wednesday was former Bishop McCort principal William Rushin, who asserted the Franciscans had never informed him of the past allegations leveled against Baker. “Obviously, it would have been inappropriate to have someone like that working with children,” Rushin maintained. 

Rushin further insists he would never have hired anyone with a history of abuse allegations.

Baker was removed from Bishop McCort in 2000 after a “credible” allegation of abuse was leveled against him; the brother was then appointed as provincial “vocations director,” which entailed leading overnight teenage retreats all across the country among other events.

Under the leadership of Friar Criscitelli, the brother was permitted to work in a shopping mall where he had daily access to children. During this period, Baker was required to be under surveillance, but according to the grand jury report was never monitored.

In 2013, the Church announced it would be settling lawsuits brought forth by 11 of Baker’s alleged victims from his time at Bishop McCort; the announcement resulted in an additional 25 claims of sexual abuse at Baker’s hands.

Weeks later, Br. Baker committed suicide at St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg by driving two knives into his heart.  

Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane noted the investigation is not about attacking the Catholic Church. “This is not about a religious order. This is not about Catholicism. This is about standing up for the law. … We are teaching our children that they do not have to hide this horrific act.”

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2980c734-5bb3-11e5-b4ad-33fbccb30348

Baker Ohio victims settle; attorney calls amount paid in sexual abuse case ‘offensive’

Terms of a new out-of-court settlement involving 28 individuals sexually abused by Brother Stephen Baker, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, and the Third Order Regular, Province of the Immaculate Conception were released on Tuesday.

The victims received a combined $900,000, coming out to about $32,000 each.

In comparison, back in 2013, the diocese settled with a group of other Baker victims for $75,000 apiece.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represented the individuals in the latest case, called the settlement “offensive,” since it paid significantly less per victim than the amount given in the past. “Many of my clients felt re-victimized,” Garabedian said.

Baker, a former member of the Blair County-based Province of the Immaculate Conception, was accused of abusing about 100 children when he served at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown from 1992 to 2000.

The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, Bishop McCort and Third Order Regular reached settlements with at least 91 victims, totaling more than $8 million.

Baker is also accused of committing sexual abuse when he was in Michigan and Minnesota.

Garabedian described Baker, who died of a reported suicide in 2013, as a “serial pedophile.”

In the most recent settlement involving Youngstown victims, Garabedian and Robert Hoatson, founder of the nonprofit victims advocacy group Road to Recovery, believed the diocese underpaid the individuals.

“They know the victims have no other options,” Hoatson said.

The agreement was reached in March, but never made public until Tuesday when Road to Recovery held a press conference.

“Obviously, the diocese was never going to announce that it happened,” Hoatson said.

Msgr. John Zuraw, chancellor of the Youngstown Diocese, said he thought everything was “copacetic” until he heard about the press conference being announced. He said the diocese kept the settlement quiet because it did not want to “re-victimize them by opening up old wounds.”

Most of the victims attended John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio, where Baker taught from about 1985 until 1992, according to Garabedian.

Twenty-seven of the victims are still alive. One declined to sign the agreement. Barbara Aponte accepted the settlement on behalf of her son, Luke Bradesku, who committed suicide in 2003 at age 26.

“I think it’s important to realize the agreements were signed by all parties involved,” Zuraw said.

Aponte believes the settlement amount was inadequate.

But she took it because the process has been “hard” dealing with her son’s abuse and death over many years. She also doubted the diocese and Third Order would make any better offer.

Three former Province of the Immaculate Conception minister provincials – the Revs. Giles Schinelli, Robert D’Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli – are being tried in Blair County on one count apiece of conspiracy and endangering children for giving Baker assignments where he had access to children even though they allegedly knew he had been previously accused of committing sexual abuse.

“That’s where the money is going,” Aponte said. “That’s where their concern lies. It’s not with the victims.”

An attorney for the Province of the Immaculate Conception did not respond to a request for an interview.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.
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vindy_logo

Brother Stephen Baker’s sex abuse victims decry settlement as ‘paltry’

Published: 9/14/16 @ 12:11
By Peter H. Milliken

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Representatives of 28 people who were sexually abused by Brother Stephen Baker while they were students at Warren JFK High School conducted a sidewalk news conference outside the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown offices to announce a $900,000 settlement.

They decried, however, what they said was the inadequacy of the settlement.

A diocesan official said Tuesday the church is committed to protecting children and helping abuse victims heal.

Baker, a member of the Third Order Regular Franciscan Friars of Hollidaysburg, Pa., who killed himself Jan. 26, 2013, in a Pennsylvania monastery, was a former teacher and coach, who was at JFK from 1986-91.

The settlement was reached directly with the diocese and the Third Order Regular. It is not part of any lawsuit because the civil lawsuit statute of limitations has expired.

The Franciscan Friars did not respond to a request to comment.

Speaking at the news conference were Robert Hoatson, president of Road to Recovery Inc., a nonprofit New Jersey-based organization that assists sexual-abuse victims and their families, and Barbara Aponte, mother of the late Luke Bradesku, who was part of the settlement.

Hoatson blasted what he called “the paltry sum of money that the diocese and the Franciscans offered these men.”

He also cited what he said is “the agony that they will go through after they’ve been devalued again and re-victimized.” Aponte and 26 of the 27 living victims have signed the settlement, but one victim has not, Hoatson said.

“What that says to me is that his life was worth about $20,000 to $25,000,” Aponte said of her son and the settlement.

“In my years of dealing with this horror, I’ve gone from having faith in this church to feeling personally victimized by this church,” she said.

Bradesku wrote in his suicide note “he wished he could let somebody in his head one day to see how he tears himself down,” she recalled.

Although she protested what she called its inadequacy, Aponte said she accepted the settlement because: “I don’t personally have the endurance to drag this out. … I don’t have the energy to deal with the nonsense anymore.”

In addition to the financial settlement, the diocese has agreed to pay “the reasonable cost” of professional counseling for the victims, said Monsignor John Zuraw, diocesan chancellor.

“Our commitment is to ensure that children are protected,” Monsignor Zuraw said. “Our commitment is to ensure that individuals that have been victimized in the past by members of the clergy and religious communities are taken care of.

“The bishop is willing to meet with her [Aponte] or any of the victims,” the monsignor said, referring to Bishop George Murry.

The diocese urges that accusations concerning sexual abuse of minors by any church employee be reported first to police and county children services authorities, Monsignor Zuraw said.

The church wants to know about any allegations of sexual abuse of minors by any church employee, even if criminal and civil statutes of limitations have expired, he said.

The diocese recently announced its appointment of retired Detective Sgt. Delphine Baldwin-Casey of the Youngstown Police Department as its safe environment program coordinator.

He said reports of sexual abuse of minors by any church employees be made to Baldwin-Casey at 330-718-1388. He said she also would forward those complaints to police.

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wkbn-27-first-news-youngstown-ohio

Youngstown Diocese settles Brother Baker sexual abuse case

Before Brother Stephen Baker killed himself in 2013, he was accused of molesting 88 students between 1986 and 2001

 4432ae5f39354822bdc6939643964241

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A settlement has been reached between the Youngstown Catholic Diocese and the alleged victims of a child sexual abuse case, but a victims’ advocate group says the amount isn’t enough.

An investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office in March revealed Brother Stephen Baker of the Youngstown Catholic Diocese may have molested 28 more alleged victims.

Before Baker killed himself in 2013, he was accused of molesting 88 students between 1986 and 2001.

Organizers from the Road to Recovery nonprofit group said Monday that the $900,000 settlement is “disrespectful.”

“Their main mission is to help these families and these victims heal, and we don’t think that this settlement goes very far in doing that,” said Robert Hoatson with Road to Recovery.

Barbara Aponte still carries the memory of her son, Luke Bradesku, around her neck.

“A little cross with some of his ashes and his dog tag from his service in the Marines,” she said.

Aponte’s son was one of a number of former Warren JFK High School students who say they were sexually assaulted by Baker, who was a baseball coach at the school.

Bradesku ultimately committed suicide. Now he and 27 classmates are sharing in the $900,000 payment from the Diocese of Youngstown.

“The settlement is their acknowledgement that these victims were indeed victims,” Aponte said.

Leaders with the diocese reached the settlement with victims and their families last spring, and included mental health counseling as well as the financial award. The diocese says they’re a little surprised by Tuesday’s protest.

They had an opportunity to talk specifically with their attorney to simply say, ‘I’m not ready to sign off on this,’” said Monsignor John Zuraw.

Aponte admits she signed off on the agreement in August, hoping this part of the nightmare would end.

“I can’t speak for anybody else. I don’t have the energy to deal with the nonsense anymore,” she said.

Aponte says she is still waiting for her chance to talk face-to-face with Bishop George Murry about what he’s doing to keep others from being abused.

“He has offered that and that invitation still remains on the table,” Zuraw said.

In the meantime, Zuraw says the diocese has implemented a number of programs to both investigate abuse and help victims recover.

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Posted: Sep 12, 2016 9:47 PM EST Updated: Sep 13, 2016 2:15 PM EST

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Decades have passed, but the pain lingers for dozens of victims who say they were sexually abused at the hands of a former religious teacher and coach at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren.

The latest settlement in the case against Brother Stephen Baker has been reached, but some of those victims feel they’re being victimized all over again.

The attorney for 28 of Brother Baker’s alleged victims tells 21 News that at least one of the men finds the dollar amount so offensive that he won’t be accepting his share of the money.

The financial settlement of $900,000 will come from the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown and the Third Order Regular Franciscan Friars, based out of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. The money will be divided among the victims. 

An advocate for the victims calls the payment “disrespectful” and says it “de-values” what they’ve gone through.

A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday.

“We’re going to appeal once again to the Diocese of Youngstown and to the Franciscan Friars to really be more moral and ethical when they deal with other victims because they should be providing whatever resources these people need to recover and the sums they are giving out just not enough to help people heal,” said Robert Hoatson, President and Co-Founder of Road to Recovery Inc.

The allegations of the 28 victims are just some that have surfaced against Brother Baker.  This particular settlement did not go through the courts due to the state’s statute of limitation.

21 News tried to contact the Catholic Diocese for comment but, no one could be reached after business hours.

The Diocese has said in the past that Brother Baker never admitted to the allegations. He took his own life back in 2013.

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MEDIA RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 12, 2016

The Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, and the Third Order Regular Franciscan Friars, based in Hollidaysburg, PA, disrespect twenty-eight (28) childhood victims of sexual abuse by Br. Stephen Baker, T.O.R., with a settlement of nine hundred thousand dollars ($900,000.00), thus re-victimizing and disrespecting the victims, once again acting unfairly toward sexual abuse victims and preventing healing

Twenty-eight (28) innocent childhood sexual abuse victims of serial clergy sexual abuser, Br. Stephen Baker of the Third Order Regular Franciscans of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, have been re-victimized by the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, and the Third Order Regular Franciscan Friars because they refused to fairly and reasonably settle claims of twenty-eight (28) childhood sexual abuse victims, thus preventing victims from healing

The Youngstown Diocese recently announced a so-called “expansion” of its efforts to ensure the safety of children, but the Youngstown Diocese and the Third Order Regular Franciscan Friars would be  more moral and ethical if they reasonably and justly settled claims of childhood sexual abuse by clergymen, like Br. Stephen Baker, T.O.R., who was able to abuse dozens of children because the Youngstown Diocese and the Third Order Regular Franciscan Friars enabled Br. Stephen Baker’s dangerous and destructive actions

 
What
A press conference announcing a disrespectful settlement of nine hundred thousand dollars ($900,000.00)  for twenty-eight (28) sexual abuse victims of serial pedophile Br. Stephen Baker, T.O.R., who taught at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio

When
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 11:00 am

Where
On the public sidewalk across from the headquarters of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, at 144 West Wood Street, Youngstown, Ohio 44503 – 330-744-8451

Who
Barbara Aponte, mother of Br. Stephen Baker victim, Luke Bradesku (RIP), who was part of the settlement; Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families; and possibly another victim of Br. Stephen Baker, T.O.R.

Why
The Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, and the Third Order Regular Franciscan Friars refused to settle twenty-eight (28) sexual abuse claims against Br. Stephen Baker, T.O.R. fairly and reasonably, hiding behind and bolstered by antiquated statute of limitations laws in the State of Ohio.  The path of destruction of sexual abuse by Br. Stephen Baker, T.O.R. at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in Warren, Ohio, is well-documented and undeniable, yet the Diocese of Youngstown and the Third Order Regular Franciscan Friars disrespected Br. Baker’s victims by settling twenty-eight (28) cases for nine hundred thousand dollars ($900,000.00).  Demonstrators will discuss the disrespectful settlement and express their disappointment with the Diocese of Youngstown and the Third Order Regular Franciscan Friars for not fairly and reasonably settling their claims and preventing victims from healing.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250

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SPECIAL EVENT

ROAD TO RECOVERY, INC.

 IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE

 AN EXHIBITION OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND STORIES OF

 CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM/SURVIVORS

 BY

 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER AND WRITER

 CARMINE GALASSO

AS PORTRAYED IN HIS BOOK

CROSSES

CROSSES - Portraits of clergy abuse

CROSSES – Portraits of clergy abuse

Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 7:00 PM

On the campus of

BLAIR ACADEMY

Romano Gallery – Armstrong – Hipkins Center for the Arts

2 Park Street

Blairstown, New Jersey 07825 – 0600

908 – 362 – 6121

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MEDIA RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 7, 2016

“The Fordhams” (Prep and University) resume academic years under clouds of sexual abuse allegations from former students and complete strangers against Jesuit priests and lay teachers

Reports of childhood sexual abuse by Fordham University and Fordham Prep Jesuit priests and lay teacher, including Neal E. Gumpel’s credible claim of sexual abuse by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, S.J., continue to surface in the aftermath of the recent announcement by Fordham Prep alumnus, Michael Meenan, that religion teacher, Fernand Beck, sexually abused him in 1984

Neal E. Gumpel was a high school student from Westchester County, NY, who was sexually abused by as a minor child by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, deceased Fordham University and Fordham Prep professor and teacher, who was teaching at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, while Neal E. Gumpel was visiting his brother, a student at Maine Maritime Academy.  Jesuit leaders thus far have refused to help Neal E. Gumpel heal by validating and reasonably settling his claim which they have found to be credible

What
A demonstration and leafleting alerting the media, Fordham Prep and University students, parents, alumni and the general public about the growing number of reports of sexual abuse against Fordham University and Fordham Prep faculty and staff members, and focusing attention on the credible claim of Neal E. Gumpel

When
Thursday, September 8, 2016 from 11:00 AM until 1:30 PM

Who
Neal E. Gumpel; his wife, Helen Gumpel; victim/survivor Kevin Waldrip; and Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Where
On the public sidewalk outside the main gates of Fordham University, 400 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY

Why
Neal E. Gumpel’s account of having been sexually abused by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, has been found credible by the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), but the Jesuit leaders have yet to reasonably settle Neal E. Gumpel’s claim.  Recently, in a media report, the Jesuits expressed their willingness to help victims of childhood sexual abuse heal.  It is time for the Jesuit Priests and Brothers of the Northeast Province to reasonably settle the childhood sexual abuse claim of Neal E. Gumpel.

Contact
Robert M. Hoatson, Fordham University Ph.D., 1988 – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com

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MEDIA RELEASE – AUGUST 27, 2016

“Move-in Day” for Fordham University students should signal “Movement Day” for the Northeast Province of Jesuit Priests and Brothers in reasonably settling the case of childhood sexual abuse of Neal E. Gumpel by a deceased Jesuit priest, Fr. Roy Alan Drake, S.J., who taught and lived on the Fordham campus for many years

 Reports of childhood sexual abuse by Fordham University and Fordham Prep Jesuit priests and lay teachers, including Neal E. Gumpel’s credible claim of sexual abuse by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, S.J., continue to surface in the aftermath of the recent announcement by Fordham Prep alumnus, Michael Meenan, that religion teacher, Fernand Beck, sexually abused him in 1984

 Neal E. Gumpel was a high school student from Westchester County, New York, who was sexually abused as a minor child by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, S.J., deceased Fordham University and Fordham Prep teacher, who was teaching at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, while Neal E. Gumpel was visiting his brother, a student at Maine Maritime Academy.  Jesuit leaders thus far have refused to help Neal E. Gumpel heal by validating and reasonably settling his claim which they have found to be credible

 The Jesuits of the Northeast Province, in a media report, recently expressed their willingness to help victim/survivors of sexual abuse by Jesuit Priests and brothers, BUT they have not done so with Neal E. Gumpel

 What
A demonstration and leafleting alerting the media, Fordham University and Fordham Prep students, parents, alumni and the general public about the growing number of reports of sexual abuse against Fordham University and Fordham Prep faculty and staff members in the aftermath of the recent announcement (New York Times, New York Post, The Ram, e.g.) by Michael Meenan, Fordham Prep ’84, that he was sexually abused by his religion teacher, Fernand Beck, during a graduation party in Westchester County, New York.  Demonstrators will also draw attention to the claim of Neal E. Gumpel, a childhood sexual abuse victim of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, S.J., a deceased Fordham University and Fordham Prep teacher, at Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, Maine, and which was found credible by Jesuit leaders of the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus.  However, the Northeast Province of the Jesuits still have not validated Neal E. Gumpel’s claim, thus preventing Neal E. Gumpel from healing

When
Sunday, August 28, 2016 from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm

Where
On the public median outside the Fordham University gates near 400 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York, which also is in front of the entrance to the New York Botanical Gardens

Who
Neal E. Gumpel; his wife Helen, Gumpel; and Robert M. Hoatson, Fordham University Ph.D., 1988, co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why
Neal E. Gumpel’s account of having been sexually abused by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, S.J., has been found credible by the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), but the Jesuits have yet to reasonably settled Neal E. Gumpel’s claim.  Recently, in a media report, the Jesuits expressed their willingness to help victims of childhood sexual abuse.  It is time for the Jesuit Priests and Brothers of the Northeast Province to reasonably settle the childhood sexual abuse claim of Neal E. Gumpel.

Demonstrators will call upon the Jesuits of the Northeast Province, including Jesuits at Fordham University and Fordham Prep, to stop their foot dragging and reasonably settle the childhood sexual abuse claim of Neal E. Gumpel. 

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Fordham University Ph.D., 1988 – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com

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News Article from 2980c734-5bb3-11e5-b4ad-33fbccb30348

Whistleblower Hoatson: Local child abuse ‘secret’ protected by culture, ‘dome’ of faith

The Catholic Church is deeply ingrained in the Johnstown region’s identity.

Worshipers have celebrated and mourned together, lived lives of virtue, served their communities, and raised their children in the faith – all within the framework of the institution. But, that same structure allowed countless acts of alleged child sexual abuse to take place – and be covered up – in the opinion of Robert Hoatson, founder of Road to Recovery, a New Jersey-based advocacy group.

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General released a report that accused the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown of perpetrating a decades-long conspiracy to shield priests and other religious leaders who preyed upon children.

 The investigation started after the office learned Brother Stephen Baker allegedly abused students when he served at what was then Bishop McCort High School in the 1990s.

Hoatson is a former Irish Christian Brother and Roman Catholic priest who was laicized – had his privileges withdrawn – in 2011 after challenging the church for allowing abuse and coverups to occur.

“In 40 years of being inside the church, and then obviously now five years outside the organization of the church, I have never seen a phenomenon quite like Stephen Baker and the affect he’s had on a geographic section or area of our country,” Hoatson said in a meeting with The Tribune-Democrat. “Having been here so long now on different occasions, it’s almost as if these beautiful hills around here – or mountains, whatever you call them – a dome was put over it, and the secret was kept in here for so many decades that, even today, it’s the hardest place I’ve experienced to get people to talk about it.”

He added: “The Catholic Church must have had such a stranglehold on this region that you just paid, prayed and obeyed.”

‘Culture of clericalism’

The attorney general’s office issued a report in which it accused at least 50 religious figures of sexually assaulting children, while alleging that former Bishop Joseph Adamec and the late Bishop James Hogan helped conceal the abuse over several decades.

Adamec, through an attorney, defended his actions, saying he took the proper steps when – between 1987 and 2002 – he learned about allegations made against 14 living diocesan priests and one living member of a religious order.

Since the AG’s report was released, three priests – Revs. Giles A. Schinelli, Robert J. D’Aversa, and Anthony M. Criscitelli – have been charged with conspiracy and endangering the welfare of children. They are accused of – in their roles as ministers provincial of the Third Order Regular, Province of the Immaculate Conception – giving Baker assignments where he had access to children, even though, the prosecution asserts, they should have known he was a dangerous predator.

It is a claim their attorneys deny.

Hoatson, who has attended several of the priests’ court appearances, said he believes Baker was able to carry out his alleged heinous acts because of being protected by the province and church.

“It’s a culture that said, ‘Whatever I do I can do and not be held accountable for,’ basically,” Hoatson said. “ ‘I can say and pretty well do whatever I want because the people think I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread. Whenever I walk down the street people step aside so I can walk on the sidewalk and they get on the grass because I’m wearing a brown robe.’ It’s the whole culture of clericalism that then becomes something that’s really dangerous.”

Baker – a man Hoatson described as “one of the most prolific pedophiles I’ve experienced or have come across” – died in 2013 by reportedly stabbing himself in the heart at St. Bernardine Monastery in Blair County.

“It’s very symbolic to me that he would cut his heart because religious people are supposed to be giving their hearts away to people,” Hoatson said. “Their heart is full of love and their heart is full of service. And here, he put a knife in his heart.”

An attorney for the monastery did not respond to a request for an interview.

Outreach to victims

The diocese recently posted names online of clergy members who had credible allegations of child sexual abuse made against them. Bishop Mark Bartchak also presided over three prayer services for victims in May.

 “Bishop Bartchak has repeatedly apologized to all those who have been harmed in the Church. Our hearts ache for them, and we pray that they find peace,” Tony DeGol, the diocese’s secretary for communications, said in an email statement. “The Bishop is working to make sure that all survivors of sexual abuse receive the support they need.

“In recent weeks, the Diocese launched a collaboration with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and agencies throughout our eight-county Diocese that offer support to survivors of sexual abuse. Representatives from those groups are sharing important information through our Diocesan media – our Proclaim! television ministry, The Catholic Register, and our website – about the valuable services they offer.

“No survivor of sexual abuse should suffer alone, and we hope this collaboration will encourage survivors to reach out for support, hope, and healing. It is also a good way to educate everyone in our community about sexual abuse, which is an enormous problem in society and by no means limited to the Catholic Church.”

Hoatson said no prayer service should have been held until the diocese, in his opinion, did much more to help the victims.

“This is one of the reasons why survivors and the church may never, ever come to a tête-à-tête is because the thinking is so radically different,” Hoatson said. “The bishop thinks that he was doing a good thing by bringing – and inviting – victims, their families, parishioners, members of diocesan clergy, whomever, to churches to pray for victims.”

 Speaking about what he thinks the diocese and entire Catholic Church should do, Hoatson said, “I keep saying if the church would only listen to me once – just once – if I had a meeting with them, I would say this: Get all of the victims together and give them whatever resources they need to recover, no limits. If you do that, you will be seen as the most caring, altruistic organization in history.”

‘Murder of the soul’

Hoatson, who has worked with more than 4,000 victims in numerous communities since 2003, the The Tribune-Democrat he was abused by multiple people himself, starting with family members when he was about 3 years old.

Then, shortly after joining the Irish Catholic Brothers, a superior called him a “cold person” who needed to be warmed up. In retrospect, Hoatson now understands he was being groomed. Hoatson said he was then abused when serving in the brotherhood, which led to depression and anxiety.

After a few years, when working at a school in New York City, Hoatson confided in a superior, who then met with his family to assure them their son would be OK.

“They invited him to spend the night that night because he would have had to go back to New York City,” Hoatson said. “And, halfway through that night, I feel somebody crawling into my bed. It’s the same guy I had just told my story to several hours before that. So, this trusted superior, I thought, turned out to be an abuser.”

Hoatson has been working through his issues in therapy for more than three decades.

He said: “When people first call me and say, ‘Listen, I’m a victim of sexual abuse. What do I need to do?’ I say, ‘Well, there are three things: therapy, therapy and more therapy.’ That’s the way we recover. The only reason I can tell you that is because I’m a living example.”

However, Hoatson was not able to disclose publicly his abuse experiences until he was almost 50, which is why he thinks statutes of limitations should be eliminated in child sexual abuse cases.

Currently in Pennsylvania, victims who were under the age of 18 when the abuse occurred can file civil charges until age 30. Criminal charges can be brought until age 30 for individuals born before Aug. 27, 2002 with the limit moving to age 50 for alleged victims born after Aug. 27, 2002.

Legislation that would remove the statute of limitations has been before the General Assembly. The measured passed the House in April and is now with the Senate.

“To me, it’s very simple,” Hoatson said. “There are no statutes of limitations on murder of the body. If you murder somebody – in most jurisdictions – that case never closes. 

“Why would we have a statute of limitations on murder of the soul when we know that most people can’t even begin to deal with the issue until they’re well into their adulthood, if ever?”

 http://www.tribdem.com/news/local_news/whistleblower-hoatson-local-child-abuse-secret-protected-by-culture-dome/article_c88a5eb0-dd0c-56a3-97d2-6126b2de4c01.html
 

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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Article from the NY Daily News

SAYING NO TO CATHOLIC HS PAYOUT

BERGEN CATHOLIC High School has agreed to pay $1.9 million to 21 men who say they were molested by 11 teachers during the 1960s and 1970s, but the former student who sparked the settlement talks is not part of the deal because he has refused to take down a website detailing sexual and physical abuse at the school. Kobutsu Malone said lawyers for the Oradell, N.J. school want to silence him in hopes of making the sex-abuse scandal go away with as little fanfare as possible.

“Considering the charges we are making, to find the school in a covering mode rather than healing mode is really disgusting,” said Malone, a 66-year-old Buddhist monk who now lives in Maine. The school agreed to the settlement in November but the deal was not made public until Monday. Lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who represented seven of the 21 former students, said they alleged victims were between 13 and 17 years old when they were abused between 1963 and 1978. The men are now 53 to 68 years old. The alleged victims will be paid between $65,000 and $115,000 each, according to the settlement agreement.

Michael O’Keeffe

NY DAILY NEWS

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News Article and Video from

news12-logo-nj_n12New Jersey

Bergen Catholic HS reaches $1.9 million settlement with victims of alleged sex abuse

 Bergen Catholic High School reaches a $1.9 million settlement with 21 victims of alleged sex abuse. (8/22/16)

ORADELL – Officials at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell have reached a settlement with 21 former students over alleged sexual abuse.

The school will offer no formal admission of guilt or apology, but gave $1.9 million to the 21 alleged victims who went to the school in the 1960s and 1970s. They were allegedly abused by 11 teachers and staff members.

Road to Recovery, an organization dedicated to helping survivors of sexual abuse, helped some of the victims in the group.

“It is an acknowledgement first of all from the school – yes, it did happen. They are credible.  These are not made up allegations,” says Co-Founder Robert Hoatson. “No amount of money will ever bring these men’s lives back and the damage that was done to them.”

Hoatson says that it took a year of talks and protests to come to the settlement. He says the Road to Recovery organization also wants the school to release all files regarding any other sexual abuse.  They believe there could be more victims.

One of the alleged victims was not part of the settlement because he refuses to take down his website against Bergen Catholic.

News 12 New Jersey reached out to officials at Bergen Catholic for comment, but did not receive calls back.

 

(Click link for Video or copy and paste into browser)

http://newjersey.news12.com/news/bergen-catholic-hs-reaches-1-9-million-settlement-with-victims-of-alleged-sex-abuse-1.12211049

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Settlement in Child Sex Abuse Cases at NJ Catholic School

 By NEWS 4 NEW YORK

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/on-air/as-seen-on/Settlement-in-Child-Sex-Abuse-Cases-at-NJ-Catholic-School_New-York-390964771.html

(Click link for Video or copy and paste into browser)

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News Article from 

NorthJersey.com

Advocates for alleged child sex abuse victims announce settlement with Bergen Catholic H.S.

Bergen Catholic High School

 
file/TARIQ ZEHAWI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
 
 

ORADELL — A Boston lawyer for seven alleged child sexual abuse victims at Bergen Catholic High School said 21 victims settled with the parochial school in November for $1.9 million. Two advocates — neither of whom were abused at the Oradell high school — hosted a press conference today in front of the school to announce the settlement.

Mitchell Garabedian said nothing has changed legally since November but “victims want to come forward now.”

Garabedian said at the time of the alleged abuse, his clients were between 13 and 17 years old between 1963 and 1978. They are now between 53 and 68 years old. His clients were allegedly abused by brothers at the school.

According to a copy provided by Garabedian, the 21 alleged victims agreed to a $1.9 million settlement on Nov. 25, 2015 that stipulated they would not file a civil lawsuit against the Christian Brothers Institute or Bergen Catholic High School. The school did not admit liability by settling with the alleged victims. The settlement also said the $1.9 million amount “does not relate or correlate” to the merits of the allegations.

Related:  Read the settlement (PDF)

The payments were supposed to be dispersed by Dec. 7, 2015, according to the settlement. Each victim received between $65,000 and $115,000. An arbiter decided how much each alleged victim received of the total $1.9 million sum, weighing “the nature of the abuse suffered,” “the duration and frequency of the abuse,” “the extent of injuries suffered” by the victim and “whether the claim is within the New Jersey statute of limitations.” The arbiter did not consider liability.

The paperwork was signed by Brother Brian M. Walsh, the high school’s president.

Road to Recovery, Inc., hosted the press conference outside the high school in Oradell. The organization assists victims of sexual abuse.

The high school’s principal could not be immediately reached for comment. He did not return a phone call and a secretary said he was in the school but would not speak to a reporter.

A year ago, several of the alleged victims protested outside the school, saying officials had dragged their feet during settlement talks — which had been going on for four months at the time. 

Thomas Herten, a lawyer representing Bergen Catholic, said in a 2015 statement that the school has been involved in a “good faith mediation” of the claims and that by doing so admitted to no liability or wrongdoing. Herten could not be immediately reached today.

On Monday morning, Robert Hoatson, 64, of West Orange, and Kevin Waldrip, 65, of Old Bridge, spoke to The Record in front of the high school. Hoatson, who is president of Road to Recovery, said he was abused over 10 years in New York and New Jersey. Waldrip, an advocate for victims, said he was abused in Newark in 1964.

“The reason why this settlement occurred was because Kevin and I in particular kept coming back here time after time after time,” Hoatson said. “We were out here last summer and we annoyed the hell out of the basketball camp that was here” by passing out leaflets alongside the courts.

Waldrip believes the school is motivated by its reputation. “They want to avoid negative publicity at all costs,” he said.

Garabedian said he believes supervisors of the school knew of the alleged abuse.

Garabedian was portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight,” which shows reporters from The Boston Globe as they investigate widespread allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Massachusetts.

Email: dazio@northjersey.com and pugliese@northjersey.com

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MEDIA RELEASE – AUGUST 21, 2016

 1.9 MILLION DOLLAR SETTLEMENT REACHED BETWEEN BERGEN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL, ORADELL, NEW JERSEY, AND TWENTY-ONE (21) CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS OF TEN (10) IRISH CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AND ONE (1) LAY TEACHER

A 1.9 million dollar settlement was reached between twenty-one (21)) childhood sexual abuse victims from Bergen Catholic High School.  The abusers are identified as:

1)         Br. Richard Daniel Berryman, C.F.C. – he is no longer an Irish Christian Brother and allegedly lives in Florida

2)         Br. John Bonaventure Chaney, C.F.C. – he is still an Irish Christian Brother and may be living in New Rochelle, New York

3)         Br. Ronald Alexis Howe, C.F.C. – he left the Irish Christian Brothers, married, and is deceased

4)         Br. Charles Borromeo Irwin, C.F.C. – he is a deceased Irish Christian Brother, and may have been a chief financial officer of the Eastern American Province of the Irish Christian Brothers for many years

5)         Br. Lawrence Sean Mc Elhatton, C.F.C. – his location and status are unknown

6)         Br. Eugene David Mc Kenna, C.F.C. – he is a deceased Irish Christian Brother and the founding Principal of Bergen Catholic High School.  A prestigious graduation award at Bergen Catholic High School may still bear his name.

7)         Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, C.F.C. – he is no longer an Irish Christian Brother and may have worked for several years as a professor of science at a Massachusetts university

8)         Br. Robert Jogues Roepke, C.F.C. – he is a deceased Irish Christian Brother and may have been Principal of Blessed Sacrament High School in New Rochelle, New York,    in the 1970s

9)         Br. John Peter Seibert, C.F.C. – his location and status are unknown

10)       Mr. James Sokoloski (Lay Teacher) – his location and status are unknown

11)       Br. Donald Dominic Walsh, C.F.C. – his location and status are unknown

 

Bergen Catholic High School currently refuses to reasonably settle an additional claim of sexual abuse by the Reverend Kobutsu Malone, Buddhist monk, formerly Kevin Malone, who was sexually abused by Br. Charles B. Irwin, C.F.C. at Bergen Catholic High School because Reverend Kobutsu Malone, age 66, continues to practice transparency regarding clergy sexual abuse cases in order to protect children.  His website, bergencatholicabuse.com, has been a major source of transparency and information for Bergen Catholic victim/survivors and many others.

What
A press conference announcing a 1.9 million dollar settlement between Bergen Catholic High School, Oradell, NJ, and twenty-one (21) men who were sexually abused as minor children by ten (10) Irish Christian Brothers and one (1) lay teacher at Bergen Catholic High School, Oradell, NJ in approximately the 1960s and 1970s

When
Monday, August 22, 2016 at 11:00 am

Where
On the public sidewalk outside Bergen Catholic High School, 1040 Oradell Avenue, Oradell, NJ, 07649, 201-261-1844

Who
Members of Road to Recovery, Inc., including its co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Inc., who spent 23 years as an Irish Christian Brother and is a victim/survivor of sexual abuse by Irish Christian Brothers.  Road to Recovery, Inc. assists victims of sexual abuse and their families and advocates on behalf of several of the victim/survivors involved in this settlement

Why
For decades, students at Bergen Catholic High School were sexually abused as minor children by several teachers, many of whom were members of the Irish Christian Brothers religious order and one lay teacher.  Bergen Catholic High School reached a settlement of 1.9 million dollars with twenty-one (21) of those students who were childhood sexual abuse victims of ten (10) Irish Christian Brothers and one (1) lay teacher.  These men were found credible.  However, Bergen Catholic High School currently refuses to settle the sexual abuse claim of Reverend Kobutsu Malone, age 66, because he continues through his website, bergencatholicabuse.com, to practice transparency regarding clergy sexual abuse in order to protect children.  

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com

Reverend Kobutsu Malone, Maine – 207-359-2555 (victim/survivor of Br. Charles B. Irwin)

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Group raises awareness of alleged abuse at Fordham University, Fordham Prep

People gathered at Fordham University and Fordham Prep on Thursday to raise awareness of the alleged abuse students have received from Jesuit priests and teachers over the years at the school. (6:07 PM)

 THE BRONX – People gathered at Fordham University and Fordham Prep on Thursday to raise awareness of the alleged abuse students have received from Jesuit priests and teachers over the years at the school.

Organizers of the nonprofit Road To Recovery passed out fliers with information about several issues that have taken place, including a man who came out about his alleged abuse in 1974 and has since received a private apology from the order.

Neal Gumple says since coming out two years ago, he has faced ridicule that has deeply impacted his personal life. He now wants the Northeast Province of Jesuits to make a public apology and do more to help victims.

The gathering comes after other students came forward