Father John Rebovich
Diocese of Metuchen
Administrative leave: 1990
Assigned as follows:
- 1968-1972 Oblates of St. Joseph Seminary (Pittston, PA)
- 1972-1973 St. John the Evangelist (Pittston, PA)
- 1973-1974 St. Joseph (York, PA)
- 1973-1974 Trinity High School (Shiremanstown, PA)
- 1974-1978 St. Nicholas (Dunellen, NJ)
- 1978-1979 Byzantine Catholic Seminary (Pittsburgh, PA)
- 1979-1985 St. Eugene (Bedford, OH)
- 1985-1990 St. Michael (Akron, OH)
- 1990-2010 Absent on Leave
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John Rebovich:
Father John Rebovich was ordained an Oblates of St. Joseph priest in the Dioceses of Scranton and Harrisburg, PA before becoming a Byzantine Catholic priest in 1967. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career including in the Diocese of Metuchen.
According to media reports, in 1975, a 15-year-old altar boy reported that Father Rebovich solicited oral sex from him at St. Nicholas in Dunellen, New Jersey. This was the first allegation of child sexual abuse by the priest. In 1978, the boy told officials of the Byzantine Catholic Diocese of Passaic, but no action was taken. A few months later Father Rebovich was transferred to the Byzantine Catholic Diocese of Parma.
In 1990, Father Rebovich went on administrative leave. In July 1990, a civil suit was filed alleging that he raped an altar boy twice in the rectory of St. Eugene in 1980, in the Diocese of Parma. According to the alleged victim, the first incident occurred on Good Friday, after Father Rebovich took him to dinner and persuaded him to spend the night at the rectory. He said he woke up in the night to find the priest performing oral sex on him. The second incident took place in August 1980, after Father Rebovich got him drunk and took him back to the rectory. That time, he woke up to find himself naked in the priest’s bed.
The suit also stated that the alleged victim met with diocesan officials in June 1984 and agreed not to press charges if Father Rebovich was removed from ministry, forced into treatment and banned him from contact with boys. He was removed from St. Eugene, but less than a month later, he was reinstated and assigned to St. Michael that same year.
When the alleged victim learned of the priest’s reinstatement he filed the suit. He said, “The sole reason why I decided to file a lawsuit was to accomplish what I thought I had accomplished in 1984 and that was to prevent Father. John from molesting other young men.”
No criminal charges were filed because the statute of limitations had run out. The case was settled in 1991.
In June 2002, another suit was filed by three men who claimed the Diocese of Cleveland and the Diocese of Parma allowed Father Rebovich to abuse them for three years while they were all minors.
According to the alleged victims’ lawyer, Father Rebovich often gathered teen-age boys at the rectory, got them drunk and raped several of them. One victim said Father Rebovich paid him and other teen-age boys hundreds of dollars to defecate in a chalice while he watched or offered to perform sexual acts on them.
In August 2018, Father Rebovich’s name appeared on the Diocese of Harrisburg’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. It noted multiple allegations of child sexual abuse from other dioceses. In December 2018, his name was included on Diocese of Scranton’s list, as well. Father Rebovich is deceased. The date of his death is unknown.
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