Fr. Ralph LaBelle – Archdiocese of New York

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2020 | Catholic Church, Sex

Father Ralph LaBelle

Archdiocese of New York

Ordained: 1978

Removed: 2002

Laicized: 2005

Assignment History:

  • 1979-1985: St. Clare’s (Staten Island, NY)
  • 1986-1989: Church of the Visitation (Bronx, NY)
  • 1990-1992: St. Roch’s (Staten Island, NY)
  • 1993-1998: Chaplain at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center (Manhattan, NY)
  • 1999-2002: Sacred Heart (Patterson, NY)
  • 2003: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Ralph LaBelle:

Fr. Ralph LaBelle has been accused of having inappropriate relationships with minor boys on multiple occasions.

The first complaint was made in 1991 by the mother of a teenage boy. She contacted also the Archdiocese of New York four times between 1998 and 2002 with concerns about LaBelle’s inappropriate friendship with her 15-year-old son at Sacred Heart in Patterson, New York. According to media reports, the mother alleged that LaBelle bought her son fast food, cigarettes, three beepers, a cellphone, snowboarding equipment, and a pass to the Thunder Ridge ski area. LaBelle reportedly disregarded the Archdiocese’s orders that he cease contact with the boy.

A second allegation was made against LaBelle in 2001, also involving a 15- year-old boy he met in 1998, when the child’s family attended Mass at St. Clare’s. According to the lawsuit, LaBelle would invite the victim to his private quarters, serve him alcohol, and engage in discussions of a sexual nature, which led to inappropriate touching and kissing.

LaBelle was later accused of molesting three 13- to 15-year-old boys in the Bronx before he entered the seminary, and of giving alcohol to an 11-year-old boy while he was a priest at Church of the Visitation.

In 2021, a man filed a lawsuit against St. Clare Parish in Great Kills alleging LaBelle sexually assaulted him while he was an altar boy at the church between 1980 and 1981, when he was about 11- to 12-years-old, according to the suit. At the time of the abuse, the boy accompanied his parents and brother to the church to say goodbye to LaBelle on his last day assigned to the church, the lawsuit alleges.

LaBelle was removed from ministry in 2002 and laicized in 2005. In 2017, multiple settlements were reached with alleged victims of LaBelle as part of the Archdiocese of New York’s independent compensation plan. He is named 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. LaBelle’s current whereabouts, and whether he has access to children 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 New York. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in New York State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of New York now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.