Fr. Richard Buongirno
Diocese of Norwich
Assigned as Follows:
- 1984: St. Joseph (New London, CT)
- 1986: St. Mary (Portland, CT)
- 1988: St. Philip the Apostle (Ashford, CT)
- 1990: St. Matthias (East Lyme, CT)
- 1993-1994: St. Johns (Old Saybrook, CT)
- 1994: Received treatment at Institute for Living (Hartford: CT)
- 1994: St. John (Cromwell, CT)
- 1995-1999: St. Francis of Assisi (Middletown, CT)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Richard Buongirno:
Fr. Richard Buongirno was ordained to the priesthood in 1984, and served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Norwich. According to media reports, in 1991, a mother accused Fr. Buongirno of sexually abusing her 9-year-old son beginning in 1990 when the priest was assigned to St. Matthias where her son served as an altar boy. This first incident of abuse involving “John Doe” took place in the rectory of St. Matthias and continued for one year. Social services investigated the allegation and could not substantiate it.
Fr. Buongirno was arrested and charged with four counts of “felony risk of injury to a minor” in June of 1999 based on the 1991 allegation involving “John Doe.” In 2000, “John Doe” filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Norwich alleging that Fr. Buongirno sexually abused him over several years beginning in 1990 when he was an altar boy at St. Matthias through 1998 when he was a high school student. The Diocese of Norwich settled the suit with “John Doe” in 2003.
In 1994 a Massachusetts man notified the Diocese of Norwich that he had a three-year homosexual relationship with Buongirno that began when he was a 16-year-old high school student at St. Thomas More High School, where Buongirno was working as a lay teacher. When the diocese confronted Fr. Buongirno, he admitted to molesting the boy, and he was sent to the Institute for Living in Hartford, CT for treatment. After Fr. Buongirno completed treatment, he was reassigned to another parish where he was found with a boy in his bedroom. He was reassigned to a second parish where he was again found with a boy in his bedroom. Bishop Hart of the Diocese of Norwich released Buongirno from all priestly duties in 1998.
In 2019, the Diocese of Norwich publicly named Fr. Richard Buongirno on its list of “clergy with allegations of substance abuse of a minor.”
The current whereabouts of Richard Buongirno are unknown.
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