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Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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The foundation of the Roman Catholic Church is built on the guidance of Pope Francis and the Sacred Heart, and the faith of the Immaculate Conception to reveal a spiritual path. As a global leader in religious instruction, Catholicism through the Holy Trinity provides parishioners a pathway to forgiveness and an opportunity for second chances.

Unfortunately, many priests, bishops, and other clergymen use their power of authority against parishioners to molest innocent children and vulnerable adults.

For decades, Catholic dioceses priests have faced accusations of sexually assaulting the innocent. Many diocesan priests, cardinals, bishops, pastors, religious brothers and sisters, and deacons of religious orders have sexually harmed others.

In recent years, some of these cases shocked parishioners when the evidence of moral wrongdoing made headlines. Statistics reveal that over the last seven years, approximately four percent of all clerics in the Catholic Church in the United States have faced credible allegations of sexual misconduct.

Diocese of Metuchen Sexual Abuse Attorneys

As an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, the attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC fights for justice on their behalf to hold the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen accountable. Our team of dedicated Metuchen clergy sexual abuse attorneys uses individual claims and our years of experience to obtain financial compensation for our clients.

If a priest or other religious leader sexually assaulted you, a clergy abuse lawyer can help. We will listen to your horrific story in a confidential setting and provide exceptional legal advice. Let us protect your rights beginning today to ensure you are adequately compensated for your damages.

Many sexual predators, including cleric abusers, use fear and intimidation to harass their victims to ensure they remain silent over what happened. Sexual abuse survivors often live in fear of retaliation from their attackers or live a life of embarrassment when others find out.

When Catholic officials allow predator priests facing allegations of sexual misconduct to remain in active ministry, they empower the assaulter to continue their sexual misconduct. When the evidence is hidden from law enforcement, the priest never faces a criminal conviction, depriving the victim of their day in court.

Ongoing Metuchen Diocese Clergy Sexual Assault

In 2019, advocates of sexual abuse survivors harmed by a priest claimed that the Metuchen Dioceses did not name nine predatory priests in their report released to the congregation. These men faced accusations of sexual abuse of minors. Their names did not appear on a list of credibly accused religious leaders released last year.

The Church’s failure to release the names of all those accused of sexual misconduct is nothing new. The same problem occurred at the Archdiocese of Newark and under the watch of the Archbishop of Newark.

One priest, Reverend Romano Ferrero, was convicted of sexual assault on a seven-year-old boy and received a sentence of incarceration for life in Massachusetts. Previously, in the 1980s, Father Ferrero ministered to parishioners in the Diocese under the Bishop of Metuchen and Theodore McCarrick. Last month, the Vatican laicized (removed from the priesthood) Archbishop McCarrick after credible allegations arose of sexually assaulting young adult men and an underage child.

Another priest, Reverend Edward DePaoli, was also not on the list of credibly accused child molesters. From 1988 and 1991, DePaoli served parishioners at St. John Vianney Church in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. A grand jury report revealed that in 1986, the Reverend was convicted on charges of possessing child pornography.

Following his arrest at St. John Vianney, Father DePaoli received ineffective treatment in 1986 after being diagnosed with “a sexual compulsion.” The Reverend relapsed repeatedly had purchased child porn while he was at a treatment center. Afterward, Church officials reassigned him to the Diocese of Metuchen upon his release from the treatment center.

Even though he was addicted to pornography, Reverend DePaoli continued in active ministry. In 1996, a nun was fired from her position after informing Catholic officials about her worries concerning the safety of children around Reverend DePaoli.

Other serious cases of sexual assault occurred throughout the Diocese of Metuchen in parishes that included St. Michael, St. Bartholomew, Holy Trinity Parish, St. John, and Immaculate Conception Church.

The Diocese of Metuchen provides religious guidance to Catholics in cities that include Perth Amboy, Middlesex, Warren, South Amboy, Somerset, Kendall Park, East Brunswick, Piscataway, Edison, Lambertville, Bound Brook, Hillsborough, The Jewel of South River, Alpha, Belvidere, Bridgewater, Spotswood, Hopelawn, Metuchen, and Martinsville.

An Extensive History of Abusers of Innocent Children and Young Adults

For centuries, Roman Catholic Church leaders have faced accusations of sexual abuse of a minor and vulnerable adult. However, the first cases made public were not revealed until the 1940s. Back then, Church officials opened its Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete Retreat in New Mexico.

The retreat provided treatment to priests and other religious leaders with allegations of sexual molestation and alcohol addiction. Many Bishops nationwide ordered their clergymen facing accusations to travel to New Mexico to get help for the inappropriate behavior.

Before the retreat was opened, the Church allowed the cases to be handled at the local level, creating problems of ongoing sexual assault by priests who were not adequately supervised. A clergy abuser was rarely removed from his position but reassigned to another parish or placed on a leave of absence temporarily.

Seldom did the Diocese Bishop tell the congregation about the allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct involving a priest in their midst. In some cases, the Reverend was never removed from his position and allowed to have continuous access to his victim and others.

The lack of transparency by the Church officials lasted for decades. Hiding evidence gave the predator power to continue sexually assaulting unsuspecting victims and repeat his offenses with his sexual abuse survivors. The silence of victims who live in fear and the cover-up by the Church created the perfect environment for the sexual assaulter to find new prey.

The Physical and Emotional Toll of Abuse

Most sexual predators choose vulnerable, innocent people as their prey, knowing that they will remain silent and live in fear of it happening again. They often choose their victims based on their age, innocence, or naïveté.

The horrific experience of sexual assault can create a physical and emotional toll that takes years to overcome, if ever. Without ongoing counseling, the survivor of child sex abuse can remain silent for fear of being ostracized. The victim never knows if the abuser will retaliate if he or she speaks out.

Even with years of extensive therapy, the victim might still develop challenging medical conditions that include high anxiety, deep depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, and thoughts of committing suicide. Nearly all sexual survivors will have difficulties in maintaining quality relationships with their spouse, lover, family, or friends.

In time, with help, a sexually assaulted victim can speak up, identify their molester, and take legal action to ensure the priest is held accountable. With the help of others, the assaulted survivor can begin the healing process while ensuring that their abuser harms no other potential victim.

Diocese of Metuchen Sexual Assault Attorneys Are Here to Help

Every sexual assault survivor harmed by a New Jersey Roman Catholic diocese priest has the right to seek financial compensation while pursuing justice through sexual abuse claims. The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC use state law and federal rules to hold predatory priests accountable.

If you, or a loved one, were sexually assaulted by a clergy member in New Jersey, contact our legal team today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a no-obligation, free consultation. Let us discuss your legal options on how to file civil lawsuits to receive financial compensation for your damages. All information you share with our law offices during your initial consultation remains confidential.

Our noted victims’ compensation experts accept all cases where the predator priest remains in “active ministry,” has been placed on administrative leave, was defrocked (removed from the priesthood), is living in retirement, or has since died.

Client Reviews

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