Archdiocese of Newark Sued by Six Survivors for Sexual Abuse by Two Priests—Fr. Augustine Giella and Fr. William Dowd

One Plaintiff Was Abused by Former New York Giants Chaplain Fr. William Dowd at a Parish in Montclair

Multiple Survivors To Speak Publicly Monday

(Newark, NJ) – Monday in Newark, multiple courageous survivors and attorneys from Jeff Anderson & Associates and Gianforcaro Law will:

  • Reveal and discuss six lawsuits filed under New Jersey’s new Victim’s Rights Bill by five survivors who were sexually abused by serial predator Fr. Augustine M. Giella, and one who was sexually abused by Fr. William J. Dowd. The lawsuits include claims of negligence against the Archdiocese of Newark and parishes at which the perpetrators worked.  Some of the six Plaintiffs will speak publicly Monday;
  • Three of the Plaintiffs were abused by Giella in approximately 1960-1964 at Holy Trinity in Hackensack, New Jersey. Two of the Plaintiffs were abused by Giella in approximately 1976-1981 at St. Catherine’s in Glen Rock, New Jersey. Some of these Plaintiffs will speak publicly Monday;
  • Reveal and discuss that Giella is considered among the worst of the clergy sexual abusers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. One of the Plaintiffs’ mothers reported her daughter’s abuse to another priest at Holy Trinity in the early 1960s but Giella remained in ministry for decades after that. Giella went on to sexually abuse many more children, including the two Plaintiffs abused at St. Catherine’s in 1976-1981, and five sisters of a family in the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in the 1980s. Giella was transferred to the Diocese of Harrisburg around 1980 after the Archbishop of Newark represented to the Diocese of Harrisburg that Giella was a priest in good standing. In approximately 1992, Giella was arrested and charged for sexually abusing a minor. He died in 1993 at the age of 72 while awaiting trial;
  • One of the Plaintiffs, who will speak publicly Monday, was sexually abused as a minor by Fr. William J. Dowd in approximately 1967 or 1968 to 1972 at Immaculate Conception in Montclair, New Jersey. In approximately 2002, this Plaintiff reported the abuse to the Archdiocese of Newark. Dowd was removed from ministry and an Archdiocesan review board found the allegation credible. A canonical trial was conducted and Dowd was cleared by Church officials in Rome, according to reports. Around the time of the trial, a second man reported that he was abused by Dowd. Dowd was put back into ministry in the Archdiocese of Newark. The criminal and civil statute of limitations for the abuse had expired and Plaintiff was unable to further seek justice until the Victim’s Rights Bill was enacted this year. Dowd is a former chaplain for the New York Giants. Church records indicate that Dowd is retired and listed as being on Special Assignment in the Archdiocese of Newark in Avenel, New Jersey;
  • Reveal and discuss that these six Plaintiffs were unable to seek justice for the abuse due to the statute of limitations until the new Victim’s Rights Bill became effective on Sunday, December 1, 2019;
  • Demand full disclosure by Archbishop Joseph W. Cardinal Tobin of the Archdiocese of Newark of the identities, histories, and current whereabouts of all clergy accused of child sexual abuse who worked in the Archdiocese of Newark;
  • Discuss New Jersey’s historic Victim’s Rights Bill, a new law that extends the statute of limitations and provides a two-year window for sexual abuse survivors to bring lawsuits in cases that were previously barred by the statute of limitations, no matter when the abuse occurred or how old the survivor is;
  • Encourage sexual abuse survivors to come forward confidentially under the Victim’s Rights Bill.

Monday, December 9, 2019 at 2:00 PM (ET)

Double Tree by Hilton Newark Penn Station
Hudson Room
1048 Raymond Boulevard
Newark, NJ 07102

The press conference will be live-streamed via YouTube and on Facebook

In May 2019, Jeff Anderson & Associates released The Anderson Report: Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese and Dioceses in New Jersey, which contains the names, photographs and assignment histories of approximately 300 clergy members accused of child sexual abuse. In addition, Jeff Anderson & Associates released The Anderson List: Sexual Abuse in the Boy Scouts of America (New Jersey), which provides names and locations of Boy Scout perpetrators in New Jersey.