Father Michael Hands
Diocese of Rockville Centre
Assigned as follows:
- 1993-1998 Our Lady of Lourdes (West Islip, NY)
- 1999-2000 St. Philip Neri (Northport, NY)
- 2001 St. Raphael (East Meadow, NY)
- 2002 Absent on Leave
- 2003-2017 Easton Mountain Retreat (Greenwich, NY)
Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father Michael Hands:
According to media reports, Father Michael Hands was removed from ministry in 2002, after he pleaded guilty on two separate charges of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy over a period of a year and a half from 2000 to 2001, and another 12-year-old boy ten years earlier while at St. Raphael. To secure a more lenient sentence, Father Hands became a key witness for the Suffolk County grand jury that investigated how abuse cases were handled in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
Father Hands was sentenced to two years in jail in 2003. In an effort to explain his actions, he said that he was sexually abused as a teen by Monsignor Charles “Bud” Ribaudo, during his first three years at Trinity High School in Hicksville, New York.
In the 2003 Suffolk County Grand Jury report, Father Hands was identified as Priest W.
His name was listed on the NY Sex Offender Registry until March 2013. In April 2004, he was released from prison and requested laicization. He is also listed on the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s 2021 List of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor.
In February 2018, Fr. Hands pleaded guilty on two felony counts of criminal sexual acts for a sexual relationship with an underage teenage boy in Charlton, Florida. The charges included sodomy, sex abuse, and using a child in a sexual performance. He was also accused of possession and distribution of child pornography. According to media reports, later that month, he was found dead in his jail cell after an apparent suicide just days before he was to be sentenced to state prison.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New York, contact our office today. In October 2020, the Rockville Centre Diocese filed for federal bankruptcy protection. The Court will resolve all claims of sexual abuse in this process but strict filing deadlines will apply and no late claims will be considered, so contact us today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help.