Michael Hands, a 51-year old former priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, was found dead in his jail cell in upstate New York of an apparent suicide. Hands was serving prison time for sexually abusing a 14-year-old Long Island boy in August 2000. His death came just days after he was sentenced to up to eight years in prison after pleading guilty last month to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual act with a minor. Hands, who was reportedly a victim of abuse himself, had previously been convicted in 2003 of molesting a 13-year-old boy on Long Island. He served two years in prison and cooperated with a grand jury investigation into abusive priests on Long Island at the time.
Father Hands has admitted to sexual contact with a a child under the age of 17 on two occasions in July in the upstate town of Charlton, according to news reports. Investigators said that he began a relationship with the boy online and then met the victim in person.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre has created a compensation program to offer settlements to victims of sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Father Michael Hands is one of the priests who has been the subject of multiple complaints of childhood sexual abuse. The Diocese includes parishes and other ministries in Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York. Attorney Adam Horowitz is currently assisting survivors of abuse in this claims process.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse by Father Michael Hands or some other clergyman affiliated with the Diocese of Rockville Centre, please e-mail attorney Adam Horowitz at [email protected] or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100 to discuss your claim against the Diocese and learn if you are eligible for compensation. Attorney Adam Horowitz is offering confidential, free evaluations of your sexual abuse claim involving priests of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.