Fr. Gerard Tragesser – Archdiocese of Baltimore

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2023 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Gerard Tragesser

Archdiocese of Baltimore

Ordained: 1955

Died: 2013

Assignment History

  • 1956-1957: Immaculate Heart of Mary (Towson, MD)
  • 1958: St. Clare Catholic Church (Essex, MD)

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father Gerard Tragesser

Father Gerard Tragesser was a Catholic priest who worked in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland. In 2002, Fr. Gerard Tragesser was listed on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors list. In April 2023, Maryland’s Attorney General released a report alleging 156 Catholic clergy members sexually abused at least 600 children over six decades. The report lists the names of the abusers, including Father Tragesser.

According to the AG’s report, in 1958, Fr. Tragesser was accused of sexually abusing a girl beginning in 1956 when she was 13 years old at Immaculate Heart. Fr. Tragesser was prosecuted on the basis of these allegations in 1956 but was released into a treatment center for deviant priests in order to avoid jail time at the request of Archbishop Keough.

According to letters sent in 1958 by Archbishop Keough to the founder and leader of the treatment center to which Fr. Tragesser was sent, in 1956 or 1957, Fr. Tragesser began sexually abusing a 14-year-old. The abuse was reported by the victim to her school’s nurse, and her parents began pressing charges and demanding an open, public trial, though Catholic lawyers ensured the trial was private. The letters further detail successful efforts by Archbishop Keough to prevent a report made by the victim’s mother to a local newspaper from being published. He rejected Fr. Tragesser’s request to return to the northeast United States, stating that he would instead allow Fr. Tragesser to be assigned to a western or southwestern diocese and accepted into the Diocese of Salt Lake City.

Fr. Tragesser returned to ministry in 1959 in the Diocese of Salt Lake City. He was released from priesthood in 1976.  Fr. Tragesser died in 2013.

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