Father John Laferrera
Archdiocese of Newark
Elevated to Monsignor: 2009
Assigned as follows:
- St. Philomena (Livingston, NJ)
- St. Aloysius (Caldwell, NJ)
- St. Francis Xavier (Newark, NJ)
- Immaculate Conception (Newark, NJ)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John Laferrera:
According to media reports, in 2009, an adult man reported to the Archdiocese of Newark that he had been sexually abused by Monsignor John Laferrera and a second priest, Father Thomas Smith, in the late 1970s and early 1980s while he was an altar boy. The abuse allegedly took place at Immaculate Conception Parish in Newark, Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Newark, at the New Jersey shore home of one of the abusers, and elsewhere.
After an internal investigation, the Archdiocese of Newark’s internal review board determined that the man’s allegation was not credible and refused to recommend any disciplinary action against Laferrera. Archbishop John Myers took no action against Laferrera.
Since 2009, more than a dozen more men have come forward to corroborate the man’s story and to report their own abuse by Laferrera.
One victim said Laferrera would force the boy’s head into the priest’s lap while Laferrera drove them to a local racquetball court. He also said he believed he was drugged and raped by Laferrera while at a home at the Jersey Shore.
Another man said he was a victim of fondling and “inappropriate behavior,” and that he was forced to sleep with Laferrera at the shore house when he was 12 years old.
Another plaintiff said Laferrera would “stick his hands down my pants” when the man was a 12-year-old altar boy.
In March 2011, a civil suit was filed by four of the victims; four others later joined the suit. Monsignor Laferrera was a Pastor of Saint Philomena’s in Livingston when the suit was filed. He denied the allegations.
In July 2011, Monsignor Laferrera took a voluntary leave from his assignment. In June 2012, he was allowed to retire with benefits. That same month, six of the plaintiffs settled for approximately $325,000. Monsignor Laferrera’s faculties were suspended but he remained a retired priest.
Laferrera’s name appears on the Archdiocese of Newark’s 2019 list of credibly accused priests. No details were provided as to the allegations against Laferrera except to say that there are “multiple” credible allegations.
According to the 2019 list, Laferrera is still alive and has not been laicized (removed from the priesthood). He is believed to be residing at an Archdiocesan facility for retired priests. He is now 72 years old.
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.