Additional Clergy Abuse Cases Filed Against Archdiocese of Newark

Posted on: October 7, 2020 Catholic Church Sexual Abuse

The Archdiocese of Newark is facing nine new sex abuse lawsuits that were recently filed. In total, four priests and three clerics from two different religious orders were named. One of the clerics, from the Xaverian Brothers, was accused of for the first time.

The Catholic priests named in the suit:

  • Kenneth Martin
    • Accused of abusing a boy at St. Andrew parish in Bayonne
    • Dates of alleged abuse (approximated) = 1981 to 1984
  • Gerald Sudol
    • Accused of abusing a boy at St. Francis of Assisi in Ridgefield Park
    • Dates of alleged abuse (approximated) = 1988 to 1994
  • Joseph Rice (deceased 2014)
    • Accused of abuse at St. John the Apostle in Linden
    • Dates of alleged abuse (approximated) = 1978 through 1981
  • John Capparelli (deceased 2019)
    • Accused of abuse while assigned to Holy Trinity parish in Westfield and St. Theresa in Kenilworth
    • Dates of alleged abuse (approximated) = 1980s

All the above priests were on the Diocese of Newark credibly accused priest list which was published and last updated in 2019.

Clerics from Xaverian Brothers religious order named in the suit:

  • John Dagwell
    • Criminally convicted in New Jersey in 1998 after pleading guilty to molesting a student at the school where he taught
  • Peter Russell
    • Accused of abusing a boy while stationed at St. Joseph’s Regional High School in Montvale
    • Dates of alleged abuse (approximated) = 1980s

Clerics from Pauline Fathers and Brothers named in the suit:

  • Contardo Omarini (Died in 1995)
    • Accused of abusing three siblings at St. Bernard parish in Plainfield
    • Dates of alleged abuse (approximated) = late 1950s and early 1960s

One suit filed by Mark Crawford, an alleged victim of Kenneth Martin and current head of New Jersey chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priest, highlighted the way the Catholic Church failed to protect minors. Crawford stated church officials knew of the allegations against Kenneth Martin because he told a priest about the abuse in 1981 along with Archdiocese of Newark officials in 1983. Even though they were aware, Martin was later promoted to serve then Archbishop Theodore McCarrick as his personal secretary, who himself was recently named in a lawsuit for what’s being called a ‘sex ring’. Crawford went as far as to send letters to many other cardinals and churches outlining the abuse in 1998. Even with mounting evidence and notice from one of his victims presented to the Archdiocese, Martin continued to serve the church until 2002, when he was finally officially removed from ministry as national attention around clergy sexual abuse became widespread.

The entire article can be viewed here.

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