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Notorious Predator Priest Named in New Lawsuit Against the Diocese of Metuchen

Survivor identifies abuser as Father Romano Ferraro, one of the East Coast’s most prolific child abusers

(Metuchen, NJ) – Today, on behalf of a courageous survivor, the firms of Jeff Anderson & Associates and Gianforcaro Law have filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Metuchen for child sexual abuse committed by notorious predator priest Father Romano Ferraro. The complaint was filed under the New Jersey Child Sexual Abuse Act.

“It’s taken tremendous courage for this survivor to come forward, and we are honored to stand by their side in this moment of reckoning,” said attorney Jeff Anderson of Jeff Anderson & Associates.

According to the complaint, Plaintiff Doe 56 was sexually abused by Ferraro while he was a parishioner at St. John Vianney (Colonia). Ferraro befriended Doe 56’s family and exploited the trust they placed in him as a priest to sexually abuse Doe 56 repeatedly on several occasions. The abuse occurred from 1985 to 1986, while another notorious sexual abuser, Theodore McCarrick, was Bishop of Metuchen.

“Any bishop responsible for Fr. Ferraro—at any time—knew what kind of monster they were harboring. The fact that McCarrick, another prolific abuser, was supervising Ferraro at the time of this abuse is a nightmare,” said Anderson. “It’s time for the Diocese of Metuchen to accept responsibility for their chapter in Ferraro’s horrible saga.”

In 2004, Ferraro was convicted of rape of a child and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“While Ferraro’s incarceration helps make the world a safer place for children, it does not take away the pain and suffering of so many survivors,” said attorney Greg Gianforcaro. “We are hopeful that this new claim will make an impactful step towards healing for survivors and accountability for leadership.”

Jeff Anderson & Associates has filed numerous complaints naming Ferraro as a perpetrator in locations where he worked, including the Archdiocese of New York and Diocese of Brooklyn. Ferraro also worked in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. This lawsuit is the first complaint filed involving Ferraro in the state of New Jersey by Jeff Anderson & Associates and Gianforcaro Law.

 

Additional Background on Father Romano Ferraro

Fr. Romano Ferraro’s history of child sexual abuse is extensive and egregious. For decades, Ferraro was moved from parish to parish under Roman Catholic hierarchs’ protection while sexually abusing countless children in Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Missouri.

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, former Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Archbishop of Philadelphia, allowed Ferraro to run rampant throughout the United States, disregarding children’s safety. In 1977, Bevilacqua interviewed Ferraro regarding his history of sexually abusing children and his willingness to undergo therapy. In the interview, Ferraro admits to sexually touching and making “imprudent suggestive statements or asked suggestive questions.” Ferraro also claims that his “major problem” is with boys thirteen to fifteen years of age. With knowledge of Ferraro’s history of sexually abusing minors, in 1981, Bevilacqua sent Ferraro to the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, Missouri. Ferraro later returned to the Diocese of Brooklyn and continued to abuse minor boys in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

In 2004, in Middlesex Superior Court, Ferraro was convicted of rape of a child and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Ferraro admitted at the trial that he was a pedophile predator who had abused perhaps dozens of boys. He also stated that he knew he was a pedophile by 1955, five years before his ordination.