Fr. Dino Cinel – Archdiocese of New Orleans

| May 26, 2020 | Abuser Profiles

Father Dino Cinel

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Ordained: 1966

Removed: 1988

Died: 2018

Assigned as Follows:

  • Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
  • St. Rita (New Orleans, LA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Dino Cinel:

Father Dino Cinel was a historian on the Tulane University faculty and was living at the rectory of St. Rita Catholic Church in late 1988 when a fellow priest discovered him with child pornography and homemade tapes of him having sex in the rectory with teen boys. The story did not become public at the time and was finally known and made public knowledge more than two years later. Archbishop Philip Hannan fired Father Cinel, who was vacationing in Italy at the time. Some suspect that the archbishop was giving Dino Cinel a heads-up that the authorities were onto him.

Dino Cinel admitted to several years of sexual activity with minor boys, particularly in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Then- District Attorney Harry Connick, a St. Rita parishioner, let the church hold onto the video recordings for weeks, saying they were trying to identify and contact the victims involved. Criminal charges were then filed in 1991 for possession of child porn, and he was acquitted in a criminal trial four years later on a technicality. Connick later concluded that the evidence in the case was not strong enough to prosecute Dino Cinel.

During this time, Dino Cinel had married a woman and had two children while teaching at the University in Staten Island until he was suspended. He then separated from his wife and ended up in Columbia. He was officially laicized in 2010.

One civil suit has been settled with a victim of Dino Cinel and the Archdiocese of New Orleans. In 2011, he resurfaced in Italy, claiming he struggled with his own sexual abuse as a child and petitioned the Vatican to re-examine his removal.

In February of 2018, Dino Cinel was found murdered in Medellin, Columbia. An 18-year-old boy who claimed to be Cinel’s lover admitted to stabbing Cinel after a heated argument.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans has included Dino Cinel’s name on their updated list of credibly accused priests and clergymen as of November 2018.

In April of 2020, the Archdiocese of New Orleans filed for bankruptcy protection. As part of its bankruptcy, the Archdiocese of New Orleans will be reviewing and paying claims for anyone sexually abused by diocesan priests and lay employees. This will likely include claims filed on behalf of anyone whose case may be beyond the statute of limitations.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The Archdiocese of New Orleans filed for federal bankruptcy protection in April 2020.  Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss your legal options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the New Orleans Archdiocese. Very strict filing deadlines will soon be set by the Bankruptcy Court. Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss this deadline, so please contact us to discuss your case today. Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to [email protected]