Fr. James Garisto
Archdiocese of New York
Leave of Absence: 2019
- 1980s-1998: St. Joseph’s By-the-Sea parish (Staten Island, New York)
- 1998-2006: St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Parish (Poughkeepsie, New York)
- 2006-2019: St. Adalbert’s-St. Roch’s Parish (Port Richmond, NY)
Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father James Garisto
Fr. James Garistoi was ordained an Oblate priest and worked in the Archdiocese of New York. Prior to arriving in New York, Garisto was a member of the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales and was stationed at various schools in the City of Philadelphia, including the now-closed Northeast Catholic High School. Garisto left the Oblates Order in 1983 and was incardinated to the Archdiocese of New York, and the basis for his departure from the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales is unknown.
According to media reports, in 2015, Fr. James Garisto took a leave of absence (on his own accord) and referred to it as “a medical leave.” Four years later, in 2019, Garisto was placed on leave by the Archdiocese of New York due to an allegation of ‘sexual misconduct.’ Since that initial report, there have been at least three other men who came forward alleging abuse by Garisto. In 2021, Garisto was accused in a lawsuit under the NY Child Victims Act of sexually abusing a boy beginning when the boy was age 15, from 1993 through 1998. The boy was a student at St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School, where Garisto was reportedly a biology teacher in the late 1980s to early 90s and a vice-principal and academic dean from 1996-1998. Garisto’s accuser claims that the priest started grooming him when he was in grade school and that when he left the high school after sophomore year, Garisto pursued him at his father’s house in PA.
In January of 2022, Garisto was arrested and charged with Endangering the Welfare of Children, Corruption of Minors, and Indecent Assault after a report was made alleging Garisto sexually abused a Philadelphia altar boy from 1995-2002 when the boy was ten years old at the priest’s home in Fishtown. At the time the abuse took place, Garisto owned a home in Fishtown, Pennsylvania. The charges were ultimately withdrawn due to the statute of limitations.
The Latest Allegation
Fr. Garisto was once again taken into custody in May of 2022 by Philadelphia police on allegations of sexual abuse between 2006 and 2010. In the companion civil complaint, the victim stated that Fr. Garisto was a serial predator of boys in multiple states and trafficked his victims between the state of New York and properties that he owned in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The complaint also states that the Archdiocese of New York had knowledge or should have had knowledge of Garisto’s serial predation but did nothing to prevent Garisto from abusing boys from at least as far back as the 1990s up to and through the abuse suffered by the victim from 2006 through 2010. Garisto pleaded no contest to criminal charges of corruption of a minor and indecent assault on June 23, 2023, in Philadelphia.
The family launched a civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of New York regarding Garisto’s conduct. According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, the alleged victim claims that his “relationship” with Garisto started when he was a 15-year-old altar boy at St. Peter’s in Poughkeepsie, NY. The victim stated that the abuse began in 2006 and continued until 2010. Shortly after hiring the abused altar boy, Garisto groomed him to be receptive to his sexual advances by providing him with money and taking him out for food. In late 2006 into 2007, Garisto began to abuse the victim sexually in a parked car in Poughkeepsie, which Garisto repeated over a dozen times in the Poughkeepsie area. The alleged victim claims that Garisto touched him inappropriately on several occasions during trips to properties (home) owned by Garisto in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and at the church in Poughkeepsie.
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.