Father Francis Nelson
Diocese of Brooklyn
Assigned as follows:
- Doctoral Program, Fordham University
- 1997-2001: St. Mary Star of the Sea (Brooklyn, NY)
- 2001-2002: St. Charles Borromeo (Harlem, NY)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Francis Nelson:
Fr. Francis Nelson was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Kottar in India. In 1996, he came to the United States and was assigned to work for the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Archdiocese of New York. According to media reports, in May 2002, he was arrested on charges of child sexual abuse that reportedly occurred in 1999, while he was working at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Brooklyn, New York. He was accused of visiting a 12-year-old girl at her grandmother’s home, taking her on his lap, touching her breasts under her bra, and pushing his penis into her buttocks through her clothing, while her terminally ill grandmother sat nearby.
“He began pulling me into his groin area with his head against my back . . . breathing heavily and sweating,” she testified.
The survivor’s family reported the incident to the Diocese of Brooklyn. Nelson denied any wrongdoing, but after an investigation the Diocese found her allegations to be credible, and he was removed from ministry.
Bishop Tharmaraj of the Diocese of Kottar, India, wrote a letter of recommendation on behalf of Francis Nelson which helped him secure a job in the Archdiocese of New York, where he continued to work until he was arrested in May 2002. The Diocese of Brooklyn found that 1999 charge to be credible and reported this to Nelson’s Bishop in India but did not report anything to law enforcement. Instead, the Diocese allowed Francis Nelson to transfer to the Archdiocese of New York. In 2003, Francis Nelson was convicted and sentenced to four months in jail. It is believed he currently works in the bishop’s office of the Diocese of Kottar in southern India.
At the time of his arrest in 2002, Father Nelson was enrolled in a doctoral program at the School of Social Service at Fordham University.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Brooklyn, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.