Father John “Jack” Downs
Diocese of Ogdensburg
Assigned as Follows:
- 1955-1968 Sacred Heart (Massena, NY)
- 1968-1969 Diocesan Consultor (Redwood, NY)
- 1969-1980 Director of Radio and Television
- 1973 Adams, New York
- 1978 West Chazy, New York
- 1987-1990 Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston (West Virginia)
- 1990-2004 St. Joseph’s (Massena, NY)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John “Jack” Downs:
Father John “Jack” Downs was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Ogdensburg in 1955. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. According to media reports, in August 2019, he was named in a lawsuit filed under the NY Child Victims Act alleging that he repeatedly sexually abused a a 16-year-old minor in 1995.
The Diocese of Ogdensburg acknowledged the claim and completed an internal investigation before reporting it to law enforcement.
“To our knowledge, there has only been one claim that was brought to the diocese regarding Father Downs. That claim was investigated by an independent private investigator [hired by the diocese] as well as the diocesan review board. It was also reported to law enforcement, per the diocesan policy. The claim was found to be not substantiated and not credible.”
No further information has been released about the number of alleged victims. As of August 2019, Father Downs remains an active priest in semi-retirement in Ogdensburg.
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