Brother Robert “Edmund” Coakley
Archdiocese of Newark
Assigned as follows:
- Assumption School (Emerson, New Jersey)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Brother Robert “Edmund” Coakley:
Brother Robert “Edmund” Coakley was a member of the Franciscan Friars who served in the Archdiocese of Newark. He also worked as a teacher and a Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America within the Archdiocese of Newark. According to media reports, in 1978, two brothers, aged 14 and 11, accused Brother Coakley of sexually abusing them while he was their Scoutmaster. He denied the charges at first. Then he claimed “he had been seduced” by the younger boy. He was removed and sent to the Ohio-based headquarters of the Franciscan Brothers of the Poor.
For the younger brother, the abuse continued through the summer camp session and into the school year. After suffering from a deep depression the boy later killed himself at age 12. The family filed a lawsuit in 1980. According to the suit, Brother Coakley made the boy sleep in his trailer, and allegedly forced him to simulate rape scenes, some of which were recorded. The abuse continued at the Assumption School and the friary. He threatened to kill the boys with a rifle if they told anyone.
The case was later dismissed because of the New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act. No criminal charges were filed because the family had not told law enforcement officials until after the boy died. Brother Coakley’s name appeared in the Perversion Files released by the Boy Scouts of America in 2012. He died in 1988.
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