Brooklyn Diocese Releases List of Clergy Accused of Sexual Misconduct with Minors; Statement from Jeff Anderson & Associates

(Brooklyn, NY) – Today, the Diocese of Brooklyn and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio released a list of over 100 names of clergy with allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor.  Prior to today’s release, the Brooklyn diocese covertly released a list on its website in November 2017 containing the names of eight priests and then quietly added five more names to the list. This list is currently unavailable on the diocese’s website. In addition to this list, the Diocese of Brooklyn made a brief statement in response to survivor Thomas Davis’ allegations of child sexual abuse involving Msgr. Otto Garcia, the current pastor of St. Joan of Arc in Jackson Heights, NY and former Chancellor of the diocese.

While releasing this list of names is an important part of the healing process for many survivors of child sexual abuse, this list is seriously deficient and raises several public safety issues.

First, in a letter to parishioners from Bishop DiMarzio he states, “The percentage of those on the list who are deceased is approximately 60 percent.” Bp. DiMarzio fails to address the 40 percent who are NOT in fact deceased, but whose whereabouts the Diocese of Brooklyn has failed to share with the public and its parishioners.

Second, the Diocese has produced this list as a result of their own internal investigation. This is the exact same process that the Diocese of Brooklyn used when investigating the allegations of abuse against Msgr. Garcia. The Diocese of Brooklyn is not the police, FBI, or other law enforcement agency. In order to have full truth and accountability, the Diocese of Brooklyn and every other diocese across this country should have trained professionals conducting investigations into child sexual abuse. Furthermore, it begs the question as to how long the Diocese has been aware of the allegations. Days, weeks, months, years? The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program in Brooklyn has been closed since April 15, 2018.

Third, the Diocese of Brooklyn has failed to include any religious order priest or brother on its list. Yesterday, we announced the filing of a lawsuit against the Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men and implored all dioceses and religious orders to release the names of religious men and women who have sexually abused children. Why not start today with Brooklyn?

The release of this list would not have happened without the courageous sexual abuse survivors who have shared their painful truths with the very organization that betrayed them. Without releasing a complete list with a full account of the perpetrators’ histories and their current whereabouts, a public safety imperative remains.