Father Hadmels DeFrias
Archdiocese of Newark
Removed from church: 2002
Assigned as Follows:
- 1999-2002: St. Mary’s of the Assumption (Elizabeth, NJ)
- 2019: Celtic Private school (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Hadmels DeFrias:
Father Hadmels DeFrias was ordained a priest in 1999 and served in the Archdiocese of Newark. According to media reports, in 2003, he pleaded guilty to molesting two brothers (both under the age of 14) between 2001-2002 while he was assigned to St. Mary’s of the Assumption in Elizabeth. The victims’ mother walked in on an incident and immediately complained to church officials.
Father DeFrias was removed from the parish and ultimately removed from active ministry. He was sentenced to three years probation and barred from having any contact with any minors in New Jersey.
Media reports indicate that Father DeFrias lived in Florida from approximately 2003-2010 before returning to his native Dominican Republic. His name also appeared on the Archdiocese of Newark report on February 13th, 2019. According to the Archdiocese of Newark, Father DeFrias has been laicized.
As of March 2019, a reporter located Father DeFrias in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, teaching english at a private high school. The children call him “Father Rafael.”
When interviewed by the reporter, Father DeFrias claimed that he had been in therapy for the last ten years and believes he poses no threat to children. He also said that he had told the new school about his previous conviction, but since it was in New Jersey, administrators did not care about it. When the school and the Dominican Republic educational officials were contacted about his past, neither responded.
Father DeFrias’ name appears on the Archdiocese of Newark’s February 2019 list of credibly accused priests. No information was provided about the multiple allegations that the Archdiocese found credible, but presumably they are the two for which he was ultimately charged.
Father DeFrias is not listed in the national sex offender registry database. It is unclear if he is eligible to return to the United States, which would be the case if he is a U.S. Citizen.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused in the Archdiocese of Newark, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.