Former Staten Island Priest Faces Fourth Accusation and New Criminal Charges Related to Child Sexual Abuse
(For Immediate Release May 24, 2022)
A former Staten Island priest who in January was arrested on charges related to child sexual abuse now faces more charges. Fr. James Garisto, who is now the subject of four allegations of sexual abuse, has previously been accused and sued of child sexual abuse and now is facing potential criminal penalties. We applaud the brave survivors in each case against Garisto who have come forward and hope that they are able to find a semblance of justice and healing through this process.
Fr. Garisto was first accused of sexual abuse in a civil suit, filed in July 2021, that was able to see a courtroom thanks to New York’s Child Victims Act. Then, in January 2022, he was arrested and charged for allegedly sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy while Garisto lived in Fishtown, PA yet was still employed by the Archdiocese of New York. Now, four months after his initial arrest in Philadelphia, Garisto has again been arrested on three charges: endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, and indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age.
Given that this man has been accused by at least four different people of sexual abuse, we believe it behooves church officials in both New York and Philadelphia to list Fr. Garisto as a credibly-accused abuser on their websites. He should be listed in New York because that was where he was employed and first accused, and he should be listed in Philadelphia because, despite not working for the archdiocese there, he lived under the auspices and is alleged to have abused there.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan in New York and Archbishop Nelson Perez in Philadelphia should immediately move to add Fr. Garisto’s name, work history, and headshot to their lists and then use every resource at their disposal to ensure parents and parishioners at every location where he worked or lived are informed. But more important than the actions of the church are those of civil authorities, and we hope that this news will encourage survivors, witnesses, and whistleblowers who are tired of the church’s inaction to come forward, make a report of what they know to local law enforcement, and help bring sunshine into these dark recesses where abuse has been allowed to thrive.
CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected] 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President ([email protected] 814-341-8386)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)