Fr. John M. Capparelli – Archdiocese of Newark

| May 8, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father John Capparelli

Archdiocese of Newark



Died: 2019

Assignment History:

  • Our Lady of Fatima (North Bergen, New Jersey)
  • Oratory Prep School (Summit, New Jersey)
  • Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church (Westfield, New Jersey)
  • The Church of St. Theresa (Kenilworth, New Jersey)
  • Valley Hospital (Ridgewood, New Jersey) (temporary Chaplain)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Capparelli:

Father John Capparelli was ordained to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Newark in 1936. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. According to media reports, in July 2011, he was accused in a lawsuit of molesting and groping multiple young boys between 1980 and 1992. He was suspended from ministry. He became a high school math teacher in Newark public schools in 1993, and taught for 20 years.

When the first allegations were made public, 20 other men came forward to report their own abuse by Father Capparelli. In 2011, the State of New Jersey launched an investigation into the allegations that eventually ended in Father Capparelli surrounding his teaching license in 2013 as part of an administrative settlement.

According to one media report, Father Capparelli visited fetish websites with young boys wrestling in skimpy outfits and participating in other erotic behavior. The report also accused him of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a Westfield company where he worked part-time as an accountant in the late 1980s. The firm’s owners did not press charges because Father Capparelli family made restitution.

In February 2019, Father Capparelli’s name appeared on the Archdiocese of Newark’s list of credibly accused priests.  The Archdiocese of Newark did not provide any details about the allegations that led to his inclusion, including the age/genders of the victims, or his assignment(s) at the time of the abuse.

In early March 2019, Father Capparelli was found shot dead in his Nevada home.  According to the Archdiocese of Newark, he had been laicized before his death. In January 2021, he was named in a lawsuit claiming he sexually abused a teen from 1983 to 1986, when the victim was 15 to 17 years old at Oratory Preparatory School in Summit, NJ.

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.

Contact us at 954-641-2100 or [email protected] to discuss your options today