Father Andrew Perretta
Diocese of Paterson
Removed: October 2004
Retired (voluntarily): 2017
Assigned as follows:
- St. Mary Help of Christians (Paterson, NJ)
- Sacred Heart (Clifton, NJ)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Andrew Perretta:
In October 2004, Bishop Serratelli placed Fr. Andrew Perretta, on administrative leave for allegedly fondling a minor 20 years earlier.
According to media reports, the accusation was initially made in 1996, when a man in his 20’s told the Diocese of Paterson that Perretta had touched him in a sexually inappropriate way between the ages of 9 and 16, from 1979 to 1986. He said that he waited 10 years to speak up because Perretta was a close family friend and he feared no one would believe him. At the time, the Diocese of Paterson decided that the allegation was not credible and the allegation was not reported to the police.
In 2002, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office said it received word of the allegation, years after the alleged victim spoke with the Diocese of Paterson. The Prosecutor’s Office determined that the case was beyond the statute of limitations for bringing a criminal suit and closed the investigation.
In July 2004, Bishop Serratelli and the Diocese of Paterson’s internal review board reviewed the allegation during Serratelli’s first months as Bishop and found it credible. In so doing, he reversed the decision of his predecessor Bishop. Perretta denied all charges of abuse. Peretta was removed from ministry upon the recommendation of the review board. According to media reports, in August 2007, Perretta was found innocent by a church tribunal and returned to active duty at Sacred Heart Church in accordance with church law. The alleged victim filed a lawsuit December 2019.
He retired voluntarily in June 2017 and remains a priest in good standing. Peretta is now residing at Sacred Heart in Clifton, New Jersey.
Despite the findings of the review board and Serratelli, Perretta’s name does not appear on the Diocese of Paterson’s February 2019 list of credibly accused priests.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Paterson. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Paterson, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Paterson now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.