Father Nilo Martins
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Assigned as follows:
- Incarnation of Our Lord (Philadelphia, PA)
- Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (Tingua, Brazil)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Nilo Martins:
Father Nilo Martins was a Brazilian pediatrician and ordained a Jesuit priest in 1978. He came to the United States in May 1984 from the Catholic church in Brazil, and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. According to media reports, in 1985, he pleaded guilty to sexual assault for raping a 12-year-old altar boy at Incarnation of Our Lord Church while he served as the assistant pastor.
According to court records, Father Martins invited the boy up to his rectory room one Saturday afternoon. He ordered the child to undress and then anally raped him. The victim testified that as he cried out in pain, the priest kept insisting, “Tell me that you like it.” When the priest was finished, he gave the boy a puzzle as a gift and told him to get dressed and leave.
After Father Martins’ arrest, the church sent him to its psychiatric hospital, Villa St. Joseph’s in Downingtown. At his sentencing, transcripts show the church psychiatrist said he did “not pose a threat to society,” and did “not believe further incarceration would be at all helpful.”
“The church is supposed to be about love and compassion and support,” said the victim. “I was a 12-year-old kid and not once did they ever show any concern for me,” the victim said. “They did not make any attempt to reach out to my family. Not once did they make any effort to provide any type of counseling or anything.”
Father Martins served five weeks of a 23-46 month prison sentence and was deported to Brazil, where he resumed his duties as a priest, with access to children.
“It actually scares me to know that despite his having been convicted of sexual assault, they would keep him a position where he might do harm to other children,” said the victim who grew up to become a police officer.
Brazilian church officials claimed they had no knowledge of his Philadelphia conviction. He has reportedly left the priesthood, and since 2002 when he was 65 years old, he was blind and hospitalized in Sao Paulo. His current whereabouts are unknown.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.