Father Chester Misercola
Diocese of Syracuse
Assigned as follows:
- 1964 – 1965 Our Lady of Pompei, Syracuse
- 1965 Our Lady of the Rosary, New Hartford, NY)
- 1966 – 1968 St. Anthony of Padua, Utica, NY)
- 1969 St. Anthony, Cortland, NY)
- 1970 Immaculate Conception, Fulton, NY)
- 1971 – 1974 St. Joseph, Oswego, NY)
- 1973 – 1976 Oswego Catholic High School, Oswego, NY)
- 1977 – 1992 Bishop Cunningham Catholic High School, Oswego, NY)
- 1980 St. Peter, Oswego, NY)
- 1981 – 1998 St. John the Evangelist, Oswego, NY)
- 1998 – 2002 St. Pius X Home, Inc., Syracuse, NY)
Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father Chester Misercola:
According to media reports, in August 2002, a man filed suit alleging that Father Chester Misercola had sexually abused him beginning when he was age 14 in 1986. The man said he contacted the Diocese of Syracuse in 1997 to complain that Father Misercola molested him and he wanted the embarrassing videotapes and photographs that the priest took of him destroyed.
The Diocese of Syracuse responded to the allegation by removing Father Misercola in January 1998 from the St. John parish. He was sent for six months to St. Luke’s Institute, a psychiatric facility for priests in Maryland, that treats priests for sexual disorders. Subsequently, Father Misercola retired from ministry, citing a heart attack.
Father Misercola was the alleged victim’s teacher at Bishop Cunningham. He said Father Misercola showed him pornographic movies, photographed and videotaped him in the nude, got him drunk and performed oral sex on him. According to the suit, Father Misercola abused him for five years.
“Misercola presented himself as a benevolent, caring spiritual adviser whose intention was to help (the victim)” according to the suit. “In fact, their relationship was one of sexual abuse and exploitation.”
In June 2002, the Diocese of Syracuse removed Father Misercola from ministry, years after receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. He was one of at least four priests who lived at Tommy Coyne House in Syracuse in 2016, when the diocese closed the facility.
Father Misercola’s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Syracuse’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors, published in December 2018.
He died in July 2019.
In June 2020, Misercola was named in three civil lawsuits filed against the Diocese of Syracuse, mere days before the Diocese filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Syracuse in New York. The Diocese of Syracuse filed for federal bankruptcy protection in June 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Syracuse may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply. Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Syracuse will never be able to take any legal action if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help.