Fr. Aaron Joseph (Joseph A.) Cote, O.P.: Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Fr. Aaron Joseph (Joseph A.) Cote, O.P.

Aaron Joseph Cote
Ordained: 1986
  • 1987: St. Patrick’s, Columbus, OH (COL)
  • 1988-1989: St. Joseph’s, Somerset, OH (COL); Holy Trinity, Somerset, OH (COL)
  • 1990-1991: Order of Preachers Foreign Missions, Dominican (FgM)
  • 1992: St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus Church, South Hadley, MA (SPR); St. Mary’s Church, Westfield, MA (SPR)
  • 1993-1995: St. Mary’s Church, Westfield, MA (SPR)
  • 1996: Unknown
  • 1997-1998: St. Dominic Church & Priory Church, Washinton, DC (WDC)
  • 1999: St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church, Bethesda, MD (WDC)
  • 2000-2002: St. Dominic Church & Priory Church, Washinton, DC (WDC)
  • 2003: Unknown
  • 2004-2005: St. Pius V, Providence, RI (PRO); St. Dominic Church & Priory, Washington, DC (WDC); St. Pius Priory, Providence, RI (PRO)
  • 2006: St. Pius V, Providence, RI (PRO); St. Dominic Church & Priory, Washington, DC (WDC)
  • 2007: St. Dominic Church & Priory, Washington, DC (WDC)
  • 2008-2011: Unknown
  • 2012: Died

Fr. Aaron Joseph Cote was ordained a Dominican priest. In 2005, a civil lawsuit was filed accusing Fr. Cote of sexually abusing a minor boy for several months in approximately 2002 and 2003. In April 2008, another lawsuit was filed in which Fr. Cote was accused of abusing two minor boys from approximately 2002 to 2005 in Massachusetts. Fr. Cote was reportedly living at the Dominican Headquarters in Manhattan, New York, when the lawsuit was filed. In 2009, he was convicted of the third-degree sex offense of abusing a minor boy. Fr. Cote was sentenced to 10 years of probation, to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and to register as a sex offender. He was reportedly removed from public ministry in 2005 and at the time of his death in 2012, the canonical process for dismissal was in process. Fr. Cote’s status as a priest, whereabouts, and whether he had access to children from 2007 until his death in 2012 are unknown.

In 2018, Fr. Cote was listed on the Archdiocese of Washington’s “Clergy of the Archdiocese of Washington Credibly accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors” under the subsection “Religious Order or Non-Diocesan Priests Serving in Archdiocese of Washington Parishes or Schools.” Fr. Cote was also listed on the Dominican Friars Province of St. Joseph’s 2018 list containing the “Status of Credibly Accused Friars” in the subsection “Friars Permanently Removed from Public Ministry” under the subsection “the following friars were permanently removed from public ministry while they were members of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph because of an allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor that was deemed credible.” Fr. Cote additionally appears on the Diocese of Columbus’ 2019 list of “Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor” under the subsection “extern or religious clergy who served in the Diocese of Columbus that were credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors elsewhere (alleged conduct occurred outside the
Diocese of Columbus).”