Father John O’Connor
Diocese of Brooklyn
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Brooklyn, NY)
- St. Athanasius (Brooklyn, NY)
- St. Clare’s (Brooklyn, NY)
- Incarnation (Queens Village, NY)
- St. Gregory the Great (Bellerose, NY)
Summary of Sexual Assualt Allegations against Father John O’Connor
On January 31, 2022, the Diocese of Brooklyn announced it removed Fr. John O’Connor from ministry after the Diocesan Review Board (DRB)––an independent investigatory panel––found credible evidence of Fr. O’Connor’s sexual misconduct. The investigation came after an August 2020 lawsuit accused the priest of inappropriate internet communications with teenagers in March of 2000.
March 2000 Lawsuit and Implications
According to the lawsuit, Fr. O’Connor would often drive several altar boys, including the Plaintiff, to dinner and a movie. When alone with Fr. O’Connor, the Plaintiff says the priest massaged his neck and shoulders before fondling his leg and groin. Because he was confined to the passenger seat, the Plaintiff said he could not escape or avoid the abuse.
The Plaintiff also states in the suit that the abuse began in 1996 when he was 12 years old. While the diocese says it “unturned further allegations of sexual assault in March 2000” during its review, sources say, the diocese was aware of the allegations for years.
In 2000 when allegations surfaced, the diocese placed O’Connor on leave from St. Athanasius to receive treatment. While he returned to the ministry in 2001, Fr. O’Connor continued to receive treatment through 2005.
Fr. John O’Connor’s Career and Whereabouts
Ordained in June 1993, Fr. John O’Connor served for nearly 29 years before his removal in 2022. According to a spokesperson for the diocese, Fr. O’Connor’s removal means he cannot celebrate church services publicly, exercise public ministerial duties, or live in clerical residences.
Fr. O’Connor’s current whereabouts are unknown at this time.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn in New York. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New York State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn 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.