Fr. James T. Smith – Diocese of Brooklyn

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father James T. Smith

Diocese of Brooklyn

James T. Smith Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1956

Removed: 2002

Died: 2012

Assigned as follows:

  • 1960-1965: Our Lady of Grace (Howard Beach, NY)
  • 1965-1976: Holy Trinity (Whitestone, NY)
  • 1977-1980: Our Lady of Hope (Middle Village, NY)
  • 1981-1993: Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Long Island City, NY)
  • 1994-2002: St. Kevin (Flushing, NY)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father James T Smith:

According to media reports, in April 2002, Fr. James T Smith, who worked part-time as a counselor for the Queens’ District Attorney’s office, was placed on leave amid allegations of child sexual abuse of at least 26 boys and girls between 1960 and 1976. The incidents of abuse allegedly took place while Smith was at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Whitestone, New York, and Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach, New York. He was subsequently removed from ministry while working at St. Kevin in Flushing and sent for counseling.

“He gave me the spiel he gave all the boys about my body going through changes,” said one of the alleged victims. “Then he pushed me to the floor. He said this would be our little secret.”

In a letter to one of his survivors, Smith wrote, “I know that in any 12-step program there is no stopping at those early steps,” the letter said. “I realized my own powerlessness over my compulsion… I must make amends and peace with someone, anyone, whom I have hurt by my actions…There was no excuse. It was inexcusable.”

Smith was named in a 2002 civil lawsuit involving 12 priests and a brother, and again in a 2003 suit involving 24 priests. He was separately sued in November 2003 by a woman, a cook workeing at the St. Kevin rectory, who alleged that he repeatedly abused her 10-year-old daughter at the church for about four years. The case was settled for $2 million.

In February 2019, Smith’s name appeared on the Diocese of Brooklyn’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. In September 2019, he was accused in a suit filed under the NY Child Victims Act of sexually abusing a male student of Holy Trinity Academy in Whitestone, Queens from 1971 to 1974.  Smith was subsequently accused of sexually abusing multiple other children, both girls and boys, in lawsuits filed under the Child Victim Act.

Smith died in January 2012.

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.