New Jersey Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

New Jersey Sexual Abuse Assault InformationDue to its child sexual abuse statute of limitations (SOL) reform over the last few years, New Jersey is noted for being one the most victim friendly states in the country with regards to sexual abuse and assault laws. Its efforts to change legislation has helped survivors of sexual abuse get justice against their abusers in the courts, and also allows for compensation. These laws enable lawyers handling sexual abuse claims in New Jersey to file cases against sexual predators, including clergy members, and the Catholic church. In addition, in June of 2019, the five Roman Catholic Dioceses of New Jersey together created the New Jersey Independent Victim Compensation Program to settle claims of sexual abuse brought against its clergy.

Below you will find New Jersey lawsuits news & updates, as well as additional information on New Jersey’s statute of limitations laws. These laws are important because they dictate how long a lawyer handling New Jersey sexual assault cases has to file a claim on behalf of a survivor. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of New Jersey’s settlements received by sexual abuse and assault survivors and a list of New Jersey ‘credibly’ accused priests released by the dioceses.

New Jersey Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse & Assault

New Jersey has made great strides in giving sexual abuse survivors access to civil justice. The state has greatly extended its civil age cap, and even though its original revival window has closed, will permanently allow claims with previously expired SOL to pursue justice up until age 55.

Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws for New Jersey

There is no criminal SOL for sexual assault felonies in New Jersey. For all other sexual abuse claims, the statute is age 23 or 2 years after the sexual abuse is discovered. Currently in 2020, New Jersey legislators are working to pass legislation that would extend the criminal SOL for felony sexual abuse crimes for victims to age 28 from age 23, or two years from discovery. The 2020 proposed legislation also includes a provision that would eliminate the criminal SOL for all sex trafficking crimes in the state. Child USA, who has evaluated every state based on their criminal statute of limitation laws, gave New Jersey a Criminal SOL score of 3, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 3 is defined as a criminal SOL eliminated for felonies only.

Civil Statute of Limitations Laws for New Jersey

In 2019 New Jersey took great strides to update and better its sexual abuse and assault civil statute of limitations laws. The state moved its civil SOL for child sex abuse to an age cap of 55. There is also a 7-year discovery rule in New Jersey which begins “when the injured party discovers, or by an exercise of reasonable diligence and intelligence should have discovered that he may have a basis for an actionable claim.” Even though the original 2-year revival window has closed, child sex abuse claims are revived for all survivors up until they reach age 55.

Child USA, who has also evaluated every state based on their civil statute of limitation laws, gave New Jersey a Civil SOL Age Cap score of 4, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 4 is defined as a civil SOL age cap for survivors age 50 and older. Additionally, Child USA gave New Jersey a related SOL Revival Law score of 4 on the same 1-5 scale. A score of 4 is defined as a revival window for 2 or more years or revival up to age 55, for claims against perpetrators, individuals, private organizations and government.

If you or someone you love was sexually abused or assaulted in New Jersey, contact us now. Due to New Jersey’s SOL reform, those sexually abused as a minor could still have a claim against their abuser, depending upon how long ago the abuse occurred. Even if the abuser is deceased, you may still have a claim against the organization responsible. Don’t wait to file your claim.

Go to our main sexual abuse page to learn more about the process of filing a sexual abuse claim.

New Jersey Sexual Abuse Settlements & Jury Awards

According to a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, the five Catholic Dioceses in the state of New Jersey have paid out at least $50,000,000 to survivors of sexual abuse. Some of those settlements are detailed below.

1990 – 1994 – A total of $3,200,000 was paid to 19 sexual abuse survivors by the Camden Diocese over a four-year span. Part of that $1.8 million settlement is detailed below. The names of the accused priests were not all released.

October 1993 – The Catholic Diocese of Camden agreed to pay $1,800,000 to 15 sexual abuse survivors, with the stipulation that the victims never publicly talk about the case. In January of 1994, one of the survivors came forward, despite the secrecy agreement, to talk about his abuse. Those priests, now named publicly by survivors, include Rev. Joseph McGarvey, Rev. Joseph Shannon, Father John McElroy, and Father John Kelly.

January 2003 – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen agreed to a settlement of $800,000 to compensate 10 victims of sexual abuse by 5 priests from the Middlesex and Hunterdon counties. While none of the priests admitted wrongdoing as part of the settlement, the following priests were named by the victims: Monsignor Michael Cashman, Rev. John M. Banko, Michael Santillo, Rev. John Butler, and Rev. Mark Dolak.

March 2003 – After a 9-year legal fight, 23 sexual abuse survivors agreed to a $880,000 settlement with the Diocese of Camden. While the group was reported to have ‘mixed feelings’ about the settlement, efforts to try their claims in court were denied by a Superior Court judge due to statute of limitations issues. Monsignor Philip Rigney, and 13 other priests were accused of sexual abuse by the survivors.

October 2004 – The Archdiocese of Newark agreed to settle 10 claims of sexual abuse for a total of $1,000,000, however, the church maintains that the settlement is not a presumption of guilt on behalf of the priests named. Of the 9 accused priests at the time, 3 remained active priests since the archdiocese found no evidence of wrongdoing during its investigation. Five, including Rev. Joseph Rice, have been removed from ministry and the 10th, Rev. David Ernst, is deceased.

February 2005 – A settlement was reached between 27 sexual abuse survivors and the Paterson Diocese for an estimated $5,000,000. The monetary awards ranged from $100,000 to $200,000 per survivor and also include four years of paid therapy. Although the full list of accused priests and their personnel files were not released, most of the plaintiffs said they were abused by a former St. Joseph’s pastor, James Hanley.

*The settlements listed above are offered for educational purposes only and do not guarantee any future outcome or settlement. Each legal situation is different, and past performance does not guarantee future results. We do not maintain that is a full list of all settlements in the state of New Jersey but merely a grouping of those we choose to share on our website. Please contact us if you would like additional settlements included or if you notice any inaccuracies on our site. We strive to provide our viewers the most up to date and accurate information as possible.

New Jersey Catholic Dioceses Release Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Children

On February 13, 2019 the New Jersey Dioceses, which collectively includes the Archdiocese of Newark, the Diocese of Camden, the Diocese of Trenton, the Diocese of Paterson and the Diocese of Metuchen, released the names of 188 priests and deacons who they deemed to be ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse of a child. The decision to release the names came under immense pressure by the public, but also right as the New Jersey’s attorney general’s office created a task force to investigate whether or not the Catholic Church improperly handled allegations of priest molestation and sexual abuse of minors.

Diocese of Newark Credibly Accused Priest List

According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Newark, the list below will be updated as litigation or investigations are concluded so that new names of credibly accused priests in New Jersey can be added.

wdt_IDLast NameFirst NameYear of Ordination/ IncardinationClergy StatusAssignments# of Victims
1AlcamoRobert1980Permanently removed from ministry/LaicizedSt. Raphael, Livingston Assumption, Roselle Park1
2BatistaJorge1983DeceasedSt. Paul of the Cross, Jersey City Blessed Sacrament, East Orange St. Nicholas, Jersey City St. Augustine, Union City St. Anthony of Padua, Union City Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary/St. Michael, Elizabeth St. Aloysius, Newark St. Joseph of the Palisades, West New York1
3BenedettoJames T.1970Permanently removed from ministrySt. Antoninus, Newark St. Catherine of Siena, Cedar Grove St. Michael, Cranford Our Lady of Lourdes, Mountainside Assumption, Emerson1
4BergeurJohn X.1945DeceasedOur Lady of the Visitation, Paramus EMS, Newark Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary/St. Michael, Elizabeth St. Anthony, East Newark1
5BonelliVincent1956DeceasedChaplain, K of C in Caldwell Religion Faculty of East Orange Catholic HS Notre Dame, North Caldwell St. Francis Xavier Church, Newark1
6BoutonJohn C.1949DeceasedSt. Aloysius, Caldwell Our Lady of Peace, New Providence Holy Rosary, Edgewater Immaculate Conception, Secaucus1
7CampanlongaMichael1962Permanently removed from ministryImmaculate Conception, Newark Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rutherford Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken Holy Rosary Academy, Union City Assumption, Emerson St. Anthony, Northvale St. Philomena, LivingstonMultiple
8CapparelliJohn1980Permanently removed from ministry/LaicizedOur Lady of Fatima, North Bergen Oratory Prep, Summit Holy Trinity, Westfield St. Theresa, Kenilworth Temporary Chaplain - Valley Hospital, RidgewoodMultiple
9CareyJames A.1936DeceasedChrist the King, Jersey City US Army Seton Hall University, South Orange Chaplain, St. Elizabeth Hospital, Elizabeth Chaplain, St. Mary Hospital Immaculate Conception, Montclair Oratory Prep, Summit Holy Trinity, Westfield St. Michael Church, Jersey City1
10ChabakRobert1972Permanently removed from ministryHoly Family, Nutley St. Valentine, Bloomfield Ss. Peter and Paul, Hoboken St. Theresa, Kenilworth Christ the King, Hillside St. Mary of the Assumption, ElizabethMultiple
11CheplicPeter1972Permanently removed from ministrySt. Henry, Bayonne St. Lawrence, Weehawken St. Aloysius, Jersey City Holy Spirit/Our Lady Help of Christians, East Orange St. Matthew, RidgefieldMultiple
12CocozzaDennis1975DeceasedAssumption, Roselle Park St. Anthony of Padua, Newark St. Henry, Bayonne St. Mary, Dumont Sacred Heart, Rochelle Park Paramus Catholic HS,Paramus St. Cassian, Upper Montclair1
13CoutinhoAbsalom1972Permanently removed from ministrySt. Nicholas, Jersey CityMultiple
14CrespoArturo1994Permanently removed from ministrySt. Teresa of Avila, Summit St. Bridget (Resurrection), Jersey City1
15DeFriasHadmels R.1999Permanently removed from ministry/LaicizedSt. Mary, ElizabethMultiple
16DiPeriJoseph1956DeceasedOur Lady of Mt. Virgin, Garfield St. Cecilia School, Englewood Oratory Prep, Summit St. Lucy, Newark St. Anthony of Padua, Newark Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Jersey City1
17DonohueJohn J.1973Permanently removed from ministryChaplain - Clara Maas Medical Center, Belleville St. Valentine, Bloomfield Immaculate Heart of Mary/St. Patrick, ElizabethMultiple
18DuffyThomas F.1933DeceasedOur Lady of Peace, North Arlington St. Michael's, Palisades Park1
19EilertEdward1964Permanently removed from ministrySt. Philomena, Livingston St. Vincent de Paul, Bayonne Our Lady of Lourdes, Mountainside St. John the Apostle, LindenMultiple
20ErnstDavid1954DeceasedSt. Elizabeth, Wyckoff Ss. Joseph and Michael, Union City Holy Spirit/Our Lady Help of Christians, East OrangeMultiple
21FaganJoseph P.1937DeceasedLittle Flower, Berkeley Heights St. Charles Borromeo, Newark Our Lady Of Grace/St. Joseph, Hoboken Christ the King, Jersey City1
22FlanaganJohn1941DeceasedSt. Bernard, Plainfield Chaplain - St. Francis Hospital, Jersey City Holy Rosary, Edgewater Holy Trinity, Westfield Our Lady of All Souls, East Orange1
23FugeeMichael C.1994Permanently removed from ministry/LaicizedSt. Antoninus, Newark Sacred Heart, Rochelle Park Chaplain - St. Michael Medical Center,Newark St. Elizabeth, Wyckoff St. Rose of Lima, Short Hills1
24GadekLawrence1955Permanently removed from ministry/LaicizedSt. Catherine, Hillside Assumption, Jersey CityMultiple
25GaldonRichard1959DeceasedOur Lady of Good Counsel, NewarkMultiple
26Gallo- EspinozaManuel1998Permanently removed from ministrySt. Mary, Plainfield1
27GiblinWilliam1959DeceasedSt. Joseph, E. Orange St. Peter the Apostle, River Edge Seton Hall Prep, South Orange St. Mary, Rutherford Queen of Peace, N. Arlington1
28GibneyRobert1954DeceasedOur Lady of Mt. Carmel, Ridgewood Chaplain - Overlook Hospital St. Catherine of Siena, Cedar Grove St. Mary, Dumont Military Chaplain Sacred Heart, Vailsburg Immaculate Conception Seminary, South Orange St. Cecilia, KearnyMultiple
29GiellaAugustine1950DeceasedSt. Catherine, Glen Rock, Epiphany, Cliffside Park Our Lady Of Sorrows, Jersey City Holy Trinity, Hackensack St. Joseph's Church, Hanover St. John the Evangelist, EnhautMultiple
30GuglielmoAlan1968Permanently removed from ministryImmaculate Conception, Secaucus St. Anthony of Padua, Newark Chaplain - Columbus Hospital, Newark Chaplain - St. Michael Medical Center, Newark St. Valentine, Bloomfield Chaplain - Mountainside Hospital, Montclair Chaplain - Clara Maas Hospital, Belleville Sacred Heart, Lyndhurst Chaplain, St. Mary Hospital, Hoboken St. Mary, Jersey City Spiritual DIrector, CYO Hudson, Jersey City Chaplain - Hudson Catholic Regional HS, Jersey City St. Aedan's the St. Peter's University Church, Jersey City St. Michael, Union Roselle Catholic, Roselle Mother Seton Regional High School, Clark St. Helen, Westfield Assumption, Roselle Park1
31GugliottaKevin1996Permanently removed from ministryHoly Spirit, Union Immaculate Conception, Mahwah Ramapo College, Mahwah St. Bartholomew, Scotch Plains St. Joseph, West Orange St. Elizabeth, Wyckoff St. Rose of Lima, Short HillsMultiple (Child Pornography)
32HartlingCharles1979DeceasedSt. Mary, Rutherford St. Elizabeth, Wyckoff Holy Spirit, UnionMultiple
33HeyndricksEugene1981DeceasedSt. John Nepomucene, Guttenberg St. John the Baptist, Fairview Our Lady of Mercy, Park Ridge Our Lady of the Lake, Verona Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, RidgewoodMultiple
34Howard (Sita)Gerald (Carmen)1976Permanently removed from ministry/LaicizedSt. Aloysius, Jersey CityMultiple
35HudsonCharles1962DeceasedChaplain - Center for Hope Hospice, Union Chaplain - St. Elizabeth Hospital, Elizabeth Chaplain - Holy Name Hospital , Teaneck Our Lady of Mercy, Park Ridge1
36KomarJohn1964DeceasedSt. Matthew, Ridgefield Chaplain - Englewood Hospital, Englewood St. Joseph, Bayonne Chaplain - Valley Hospital, Ridgewood St. Margaret of Cortona, Little Ferry Our Lady of Fatima, North Bergen Chaplain - Jersey City Medical Center, Jersey City St. Philip the Apostle, Saddle BrookMultiple (Child Pornography)
37KortinaKevin1970DeceasedSacred Heart Cathedral, Newark Our Lady of Lourdes, West Orange Union Catholic Regional High School, Scotch Plains Chaplain - DeLaSalle HS, Concord, CA, St. Francis DeSales Church, San Bernadino, CA1
38LaferreraJohn1973Permanently removed from ministrySt. Philomena, Livingston St. Aloysius, Caldwell St. Francis Xavier, Newark Immaculate Conception, NewarkMultiple
39MaioneFrancis T.1965Permanently removed from ministrySt. Lucy, Newark Catholic Community Services, Newark Blessed Sacrament/St. Charles Borromeo, Newark American College, Louvain St. Pius X, Old Tappan Holy Family, Union City Immaculate Conception Seminary, Mahwah Our Lady of Grace/St. Joseph, Hoboken Our Lady of the Visitation, Paramus1
40MarottaRobert1963DeceasedOur Lady of Mt. Carmel, Jersey City Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Lyndhurst Our Lady of the Rosary, Newark Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Newark St. John the Baptist, Jersey City Our Lady Of Libera, West New York Immaculate Conception, Secaucus Our Lady Of Victories, Jersey City St. Cecilia, Kearny1
41MartinKenneth1977Permanently removed from ministryChaplain - Pope John Paul II Pavilion, Orange Chaplain - St. Michael Medical Center, Newark Holy Name Of Jesus, East Orange St. Andrew, BayonneMultiple
42McAulayDcn. John R.1975Permanently removed from ministrySt. Mary of the Assumption, Elizabeth1
43McCannWilliam1925DeceasedSt. Aloysius, Jersey City Holy Trinity, Westfield Ss.Peter and Paul, Hoboken Army Chaplain Our Lady Help of Christians, East Orange St. Francis, Ridgefield Park St. Philomena, LivingstonMultiple
44McCarrickTheodore1958Permanently removed from ministryArchbishop Theodore McCarrick has been included on the list based on the findings of the Archdiocese of New York that allegations of abuse of a minor against then Father McCarrick were credible and substantiated.
45MedinaDaniel (Horatio D.)1998Permanently removed from ministry/LaicizedHoly Trinity/Epiphany, Newark Blessed Sacrament/St. Charles Borromeo, Newark St. Aloysius, Jersey City Blessed Sacrament, ElizabethMultiple
46MieliwockiRichard1972Permanently removed from ministry/LaicizedChaplain - Roselle Catholic St. Joseph The Carpenter, Roselle Most Holy Name, Garfield Our Lady of Sorrows, South Orange Holy Trinity, Westfield Nativity, Midland ParkMultiple
47MorelJohn1955DeceasedSt. Aloysius, Newark St. Lucy, Newark St. Michael, Jersey City Chaplain - Hackensack Hospital, Hackensack St. Anthony of Padua, Newark Holy Family, Union City Nativity, Midland Park St. Andrew, Westwood Our Lady of the Assumption, BayonneMultiple
48MorelRobert1969DeceasedOur Lady Of the Visitation, Paramus Catholic Community Services, Newark St. Joseph, Jersey City St. Peter the Apostle, River Edge Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, RoselandMultiple
49MousleyDcn. Thomas1976Permanently removed from ministryBoys Town, Kearny St. Joseph, Maplewood1
50NickasJohn1966DeceasedSt. Peter Claver, Montclair St. Rocco Community Outreach Center, Newark St. Rocco School, Newark St. Rocco Parish, Newark Chaplain - Essex County Prison, Newark St. Patrick Pro-Cathedral, Newark Most Blessed Sacrament, Franklin LakesMultiple
51O'BrienMichael1977DeceasedOur Lady of Sorrows, Kearny Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Lyndhurst Our Lady of Mt. Virgin, Garfield St. Rose of Lima, Short Hills Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Jersey City St. Anthony of Padua, Union City1
52ReillyThomas H.1929DeceasedSt. Mary, Paterson Sacred Heart, Newark Chaplain - USS South Dakota District Chaplain Holy Name of Jesus, East Orange1
53RengifoJesus Orlando1984Permanently removed from ministrySt. Joseph of the Palisades, West New York Holy Trinity, Hackensack St. Paul of the Cross, Jersey City1
54RiceJoseph1977DeceasedChaplain - Bergen Regional Medical Center, Paramus Chaplain - St. Michael Medical Center, Newark St. John the Apostle, Linden St. Mary, Jersey CityMultiple
55RuaneGerald1960DeceasedHoly Trinity, Westfield Sacred Heart Institute, West Caldwell Chaplain - Caldwell College, Caldwell Our Lady of Lourdes, West OrangeMultiple
56SalazarMario1979DeceasedChaplain - Bergen Regional Medical Center, Paramus Carmelite Chapel Of St. Therese, Paramus St. Joseph of the Palisades, West New York St. Mary, Jersey CityMultiple
57StanfordThomas1979Permanently removed from ministryOur Lady of Perpetual Help, Oakland St. Margaret of Cortona, Little Ferry St. Luke, Ho-Ho-KusMultiple
58StanleyEdward1931DeceasedSacred Heart, Bloomfield St. John, Bergenfield Archdiocesan Director CYO St. Mary, Jersey City St. Patrick, Elizabeth1
59StaufferRobert1964Permanently removed from ministrySt. Francis, Ridgefield Park Assumption, Emerson St. Mary, Nutley Our Lady of Assumption, Bayonne St. Rose of Lima, Short Hills1
60SudolGerald1980Permanently removed from ministryHoly Family, Nutley St. Francis of Assisi, Ridgefield Park St. Ann (Polish), Jersey City Chaplain - St. Francis Community Center, Jersey City Holy Rosary, Jersey City Mount St. Andrew Villa, Paramus Padre Pio Friary, HobokenMultiple
61SvecRobert1954DeceasedSt. Henry, Bayonne Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Jersey City St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Bayonne St. John the Baptist, Jersey City IHM/St. Patrick, Elizabeth Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Montclair St. Vincent De Paul, Bayonne St. Columba, Newark St. Charles Borromeo, NewarkMultiple
62WaltersMichael M.1981Permanently removed from ministryOur Lady Of Sorrows, S. Orange Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Orange Holy Spirit/Our Lady Help of Christians, East Orange St. Matthew, Ridgefield St. John Nepomucene, Gutttenberg Sacred Heart, Haworth Our Lady of All Souls, East Orange St. Cassian, Upper MontclairMultiple
63ZasackiRobert1967DeceasedSt. Joseph, West Orange St. Francis De Sales, Lodi St. Leo's, Irvington Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Ridgewood St. Brigid, North Bergen1
64MathewsonDean A.1973On Administrative Leave Pending InvestigationDiocesan Coordinator for Priest Hospital Chaplains - Columbus, Part-time duties as Catholic Chaplain at Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, and residence and part-time sacramental duties at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Columbus, Associate Pastor, St. Brendan, Hilliard; Pastor, St. Francis de Sales, Newark Administrator, St. Francis de Sales, Newark, Associate Pastor, St. Francis de Sales, Newark, Pastor, St. Joseph, LaRue, with part-time teaching duties at Marion Catholic High School, Associate Pastor, St. Mary, Chillicothe, with part-time teaching duties at Bishop Flaget High School and Assistant Parish Priest, St. Matthias, Columbus, with part-time teaching duties at St. Francis de Sales High School.1

Click to view our larger list of accused priests. Here you can search by accused clergy first and last name, Parish/Diocese, city and state, and even by the years of their assignments.

Click to jump back to the top of the page

New Jersey Catholic Dioceses Establish Victims Compensation Fund for Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

In June of 2019, the five New Jersey Catholic Dioceses established a victims’ compensation program in the hopes of providing financial retribution to those who bring a credible sexual abuse claim. However, in order to qualify for payment, each survivor will need to waive his or her right to sue the church or its clergy in the future. The fund, called the New Jersey Independent Victim Compensation Program, is administered by a third-party, independent of the Catholic Church.

For more information about this fund, or for filing a sexual abuse claim against the Catholic Church in New Jersey, call our office at 1-800-941-7209. Your call is completely confidential.

New Jersey Sexual Abuse Lawsuits: News & Updates

Is it too Late to File a Clergy Abuse Lawsuit in New Jersey?

It can take years or even decades for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to come forward. Click the headline to learn more about how long a survivor of clergy sex abuse has to pursue a claim in New Jersey. Click the headline to read more…

Diocese of Trenton Facing Multiple Clergy Abuse Lawsuits

The Diocese of Trenton is facing multiple lawsuits regarding clergy sexual abuse involving Francis McGrath, Gregory Vaughan, Douglas Hermansen, Frank Iazettta (deceased), and Donald Becker (deceased). Click the headline to read more…