Media Advisory: Diocese of Rockville Centre Settles Sex Abuse Claim

Identity of Perpetrator Now Released to Public

Perpetrator Believed To Be “Priest K” In Suffolk County Grand Jury Report

(Rockville Centre, NY) – A survivor of childhood sexual abuse by Diocese of Rockville Centre priest Fr. Ernest E. Robinson, a convicted sex offender, has settled his claims against the Diocese through the Diocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP). Robinson has never been publicly identified as a perpetrator priest.

Robinson sexually abused the survivor in approximately 1980, when Robinson was a priest at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Greenlawn, NY, where the male survivor, then a minor, was a parishioner and altar server.

Diocese Ignored Reports
The survivor and his family reported the abuse to diocesan priests and officials multiple times over the course of several years, initially on the day of the abuse. But the Diocese did not act to stop Robinson and allowed him to remain a priest in the diocese until 2006. Robinson was convicted for a sexual assault-related offense in Massachusetts in 2007.

On the day of the abuse in 1980, Robinson admitted to his victim that he previously inappropriately touched the survivor’s friends. The survivor’s attorney, J. Michael Reck, is aware that at least one other person Robinson sexually abused as a priest has come forward and believes there are many others who have not.

“We believe Robinson abused multiple of children on Long Island and probably up the East Coast,” Reck said. “The diocese knew he was a danger since at least 1980 and could have taken measures to stop him and notify the public of the threat Fr. Robinson posed. Instead, the Diocese of Rockville Centre ignored this survivor, allowed Robinson to continue and chose to keep the danger secret from the public.”

Robinson’s Sexual Assault Offense Conviction
Robinson was convicted of a sexual assault offense involving a person age 14 or over in Massachusetts in 2007, in connection with a 2006 incident. He is believed to have resided in Setauket, NY, and at St. Pius X Residence in Uniondale, NY, around 2006.

Priest K in Grand Jury Report
In 2003, a Suffolk County Grand Jury issued a report after an investigation into the Diocese of Rockville Centre, its priests and its parishes. The Grand Jury concluded that the Diocese failed its responsibility to protect children and ignored complaints about sexual abuse by priests. Based upon information in the Grand Jury Report and information submitted in the IRCP, it appears that a perpetrator priest identified in the report only as “Priest K” is in fact Robinson.

“The survivor urges the Diocese of Rockville Centre to publicly disclose Robinson as having been credibly accused of sexually abusing children while he was a priest of the diocese,” Reck said. “The Diocese also needs to confirm whether Robinson is in fact Priest K in the Grand Jury Report. These kinds of disclosures can help survivors feel they are not alone and give them a chance to heal.”

Robinson was ordained in 1979 in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He worked at several parishes in the diocese, including St. Francis of Assisi from approximately 1980 to 1985. Robinson went on to work and live at parishes and facilities in Hyde Park, Oyster Bay, Hicksville, Huntington and Uniondale on Long Island until at least 2006, after which his whereabouts and status have not been made public by the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The settlement was reached in February 2018. The Diocese of Rockville Centre IRCP expires April 30, 2018.