Consider the Extent of Clergy Sexual Abuse on Long Island

| May 5, 2021 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Here are some of the places that clergy sexual abuse on Long Island happened:

In a church vehicle in West Babylon.

In parks, like Wildwood State Park, Blydenburgh Park, Cedar Point County Park, Smith Point Park, and Southaven Park.

In personal vehicles: Fr. Collins’ boat, Fr. Charland’s airplane, Fr. Chasse’s camper van, and cars owned by Fr. Farley, Fr. Fitzgerald, Fr. Fitzpatrick, Fr. Giuntini, Fr. Hand, Fr. Hein, Fr. Logan and others.

In church facilities: the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, the St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset, St. Francis Retreat House in Garrison, New York, rectories and an unspecified convent.

And it happened in an incredibly wide range of other places: the Hamptons, on school trips, the Nassau County Jail, a movie theater, in Calverton Cemetery, an unspecified beach, the Racquetball and Health Club in Westbury, the New York Men’s Club in Kerala, a men’s bath house, the Tang Soo Do Karate Center in Wantagh, the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, the Leisure Village condominium complex in Ridge, a farm at SUNY Farmingdale, the Holiday Inn in Westbury and a Boy Scout camp.

With the same cast of characters, it also happened in other states, like Pennsylvania (Fr. Chasse) and Florida (Fr. Duvelsdorf and Fr. Collins).

And in foreign countries, like Switzerland (Fr. McComiskey), Yugoslavia (Fr. Ditta) and Romania (Fr. Charland).

“It” of course is child sex crimes by Rockville Centre Catholic clergy.

And this is just a partial list, based solely on admissions (no doubt incomplete) by Catholic officials. More than 100 child molesting clerics are named on the long-overdue and just-published list of ‘credibly accused’ abusers in the Bishop John Barres’ Rockville Centre diocese.

(Yes, the very same Rockville Centre diocese that was the subject of the first truly shocking grand jury report on clergy sex crimes and cover ups back in 2003.)

Bishop Barres’ list contains a category called “Locations Where Abuse Has Been Alleged.” Again, we’ve included here just some of those places.

We summarize these places here for two reasons.

First, to emphasize how creative and determined predators are. They create and exploit every conceivable opportunity to hurt kids, even in places you might never expect.

Second, to stress just how helpless kids feel or are when they’re in the throes of abuse. Imagine, for instance, how scared and powerless the child who was victimized in Fr. Charland’s airplane or Fr. Collins’ boat must have felt.

For another perspective, just look at two individual predator priests: Fr. Robert Huneke and Fr. John Mahoney.

Fr. Huneke is accused of abusing in his family home on Long Island, in a private house in Virginia, at Morris Inn near Notre Dame University, in parishes like St. Dominic’s in Oyster Bay and in hotel rooms in New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maine. (He also worked in Georgia.)

Fr. Mahoney reportedly abused at the Jersey shore and the Palisades Amusement Park in Jersey, cabins and lake houses in Connecticut, and in New York at Jones Beach, the Triangle Inn Motel in Bohemia, a diocesan house in Gilgo Beach, the Wassaic Development Center, a hotel in Wantagh, a private apartment in East Islip, the Sayville Motel Lodge, the Tides Motel in Rye, the Playland Amusement Park in Rye, a motel near West Point, the Marist Brothers Retreat House, St. Mary’s High School, his car and at various other hotel and motel rooms across Long Island.

In summary, in the Rockville Centre diocese, more than a hundred predator priests, decade after decade, fooled parents, conned kids, committed heinous crimes and devastated lives, while their church colleagues and supervisors stayed silent or actively helped them.

This horror can’t be un-done. But it can be exposed. And similar horrors can be deterred.

So please do your part. Urge anyone you know who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups on Long Island – no matter how long ago – to consider coming forward, getting help, and seeking justice.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New York, contact our office today. In October 2020, the Rockville Centre Diocese filed for federal bankruptcy protection.  The Court will resolve all claims of sexual abuse in this process but strict filing deadlines will apply and no late claims will be considered, so contact us today.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help.