Fr. Gennaro Gentile – Archdiocese of New York

| Jul 24, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Gennaro “Jerry” Gentile

Archdiocese of New York

Ordained: 1971

Leave: 2002

Laicized: 2005

Assignment History:

  • 1970-1971: St. Mary’s (Wappinger’s Falls, NY)
  • 1971-1976: St. Mary’s (Poughkeepsie, NY)
  • 1976-1982: St. Denis (Hopewell Junction, NY)
  • 1982-1983: St. Mary’s (Marlboro, NY)
  • 1983-1984: St. Eugene’s (Yonkers, NY)
  • 1984-1985: St. Charles Borromeo (Gardiner, NY)
  • 1984-1987: Immaculate Conception (Tuckahoe, NY)
  • 1987-2000: Holy Name of Mary (Croton-on-Hudson, NY)
  • 2000-2001: St. Benedict’s (Throggs Neck, NY)
  • 2000-2002: Catholic Center Annulments Office (Poughkeepsie, NY)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Gennaro Gentile:

Fr. Gennaro “Jerry” Gentile is alleged to have sexually abused dozens of boys during his thirty-plus years as a priest in the Archdiocese of New York. Reports of complaints regarding Gentile’s behavior date back to 1971.

According to media reports, Gentile frequently invited boys on unchaperoned overnight stays at the rectory and on longer trips. These trips included weekend and weeklong visits to “Jerry’s Retreat,” his five-bedroom house on Ballston Lake.

In the 1990s, the archdiocese received complaints about Gentile from at least five families. One report stated that Gentile took three boys on a camping trip to Virginia in the summer of 1973. One of the boys, who was 13 years old in 1973, told his parents in the 1990s that Gentile had accosted him in the tent, trying to pull off his pajama bottoms. The victim claimed that the attack went on for a long while, with the boy struggling to keep the priest away from him.

Another man, interviewed in 2002, said Gentile sexually abused him beginning in 1971 when the man was 11 or 12 years old, and a St. Mary’s altar server.

In 1994, Gentile volunteered to take a 14-year-old boy to his upstate lake house to talk with him. While at the lake house, Gentile is said to have given the boy liquor and sexually abused him. The boy’s behavior became erratic in the following months, and he tried to take his own life. The boy told his therapist about the abuse in 1996. Rather than press charges, as encouraged by the therapist, the boy’s family went to the Archdiocese of New York for help. In 1997, the archdiocese agreed to pay for psychiatric therapy for this boy. They also had the family commit to a confidentiality agreement.

In a 1997 lawsuit, Gentile was accused of abusing two brothers in 1993 and 1994 while visiting Gentile’s upstate lake house, and sometimes in the boys’ family’s home. The lawsuit was confidentially settled in 2001.

In 2017, three men who accused Gentile of abuse were reported to have received $250,000 each from the New York Archdiocese Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP). The three men accused Gentile of sexually abusing them between the ages of 9 and 15, with the abuse ongoing for six years.

Archdiocesan Officials Knew All Along

Archdiocesan officials knew of allegations against Gentile for years, yet allowed him to remain in ministry. The Archdiocese of New York brokered settlements with families who had claimed that their boys were sexually abused by Gentile, swearing those families to secrecy. A priest who worked with Gentile at one parish expressed concern to archdiocesan officials about Gentile’s involvement with boys. That priest was let go, and Gentile was allowed to stay.

Gentile was placed on leave in April 2002 and finally laicized in 2005. He was listed on the Archdiocese of New York’s 2019 List of Archdiocesan Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor or the Subject of Eligible IRCP Compensation Claims. He is believed to be currently residing in Garfield, New Jersey. Whether he has access to children is unknown.

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