Fr. Michael Santillo – Diocese of Albany

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2020 | Catholic Church, Sex

Father Michael P. Santillo

Diocese of Albany

Ordained: 1975

Left active priesthood: 1992

Died: 2000

Assigned as follows:

  • 1976: St. Rose (Freehold, NJ)
  • 1978-1979: St. Justin (Toms River, NJ)
  • 1979-1980: St. Pius High School (Piscataway, NJ)
  • 1981-1983: St. Joseph’s (Bound Brook, NJ)
  • 1984-1985: Our Lady of Lourdes (Whitehouse Station, NJ)
  • 1985-1986: St. John Vianney (Colonia, NJ)
  • 1986-1989: St. Mary (Perth Amboy, NJ)
  • 1990-1992: St. Joseph (Washington, NJ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Michael P Santillo:

In 1997, shortly after Fr. Michael P Santillo had been hired by St. John the Evangelist Church, in Schenectady, NY; he was arrested and charged with being a fugitive from justice and sent back to New Jersey.

He was wanted for one count of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of sexual assault, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. The victim came forward with the assault charges in May of 1998, and the warrant for the arrest of Santillo was issued in August of the same year.

At the time of the assault, Santillo was a priest at St. Mary’s Church in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He had taken a leave of absence from ministry in 1992, to take care of his parents who were in poor health at the time, and decided to come back and do administrative work in 1997. According to media reports, he was charged with molesting a 13-year-old victim at the time and was charged again in 1999 with sexually assaulting another minor for which he pleaded guilty.

Most of the victims were altar boys who were forced to participate in oral sex with Santillo and watch pornographic films. They all claimed that the abuse had happened in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They also all said they had been given alcohol as minors as well as given money to keep their silence after the abuse.

Three more victims spoke out against Santillo, and he was eventually convicted and sentenced to ten more years in prison.

His name was also included in the 2003 Diocesan settlement which included 5 different priests and gave almost $800,000 to ten survivors.

Santillo died from a form of lymphatic cancer in prison in May of 2000.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New York, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or at [email protected].