NJ predator priest seeks trial
He admitted molesting in Jersey City
Now, he’s accused of abusing 3 in Missouri
Cleric changed his name before being sent away
For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013
For more information: Mark Crawford 732 632 7687, firstname.lastname@example.org, David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A defrocked Catholic priest, who admitted molesting a New Jersey boy and is accused of molesting several Missouri boys, wants to go to trial.
He is Fr. Gerry Howard of the Diocese of Jefferson City. But when he worked in Jersey City in the 1980s, he was known as Fr. Carmine Sita. He’s been in jail for two years on charges that he sexually assaulted boys in the small town of Boonville Missouri, just west of Columbia.
“We welcome this move. We have tremendous confidence in the three brave men who have reported being abused by Fr. Gerry Howard in Boonville,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “We hope that the judge also lets into evidence Howard’s guilty plea in New Jersey.
“Shame on New Jersey Catholic officials for letting a convicted child predator legally change his name and then quietly sending him off to unsuspecting Missouri parishioners with no warning,” said Mark Crawford, SNAP’s New Jersey director. “This is one of the most glaring examples of how callous and deceitful the church hierarchy has been.”
“We strongly urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Howard’s crimes to come forward,” Clohessy said. “Police and prosecutors can never have too much evidence or too many witnesses in a clergy sex abuse trial. Pedophile priests typically get top notch lawyers and exploit technicalities, often escaping responsibility for their crimes or getting little or no jail time if they are convicted.”
New Jersey attorney Greg Gianforcaro represents several of Fr. Sita’s New Jersey victims. Missouri attorney Bryan Bacon represents some of his Missouri victims.