New clergy sex abuse & cover up case is filed

  • New clergy sex abuse & cover up case is filed
  • Predator priest taught recently at NJ school
  • Church officials misled victim, lawsuit asserts
  • Other men charge they were molested by cleric too
  • Victim appeals to Governor for help reforming “predator-friendly” laws
  • Group urges others who “saw, suspected or suffered” crimes to “step forward


Holding signs and childhood photos at a news conference, a northern NJ man will announce and discuss his new civil lawsuit against the Newark priest who molested him and NJ Catholic officials who ignored/concealed the crimes.        

Until several weeks ago, the cleric – who faces multiple accusers - taught at a Newark public school.

The victim will appeal to NJ’s governor and lawmakers to pass a pending proposal to reform what he calls the state’s “arbitrary, archaic, predatory-friendly” statute of limitations which prevents most victims from being able to warn parents, protect kids, expose predators and get justice in court.


Thursday, December 15 @ 11:00 A.M.


Outside main entrance to the State House in Trenton, New Jersey


The victim, his attorney, other child sex abuse victims and the NJ head of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (


In 1992, Richard Fitter of northern NJ told Newark Catholic officials that he had been molested by Fr. John M. Capparelli. Those church officials led Fitter to believe that Capparelli would be defrocked and kept away from kids.

But weeks ago (in an October 16 article in the Star Ledger), Fitter learned that Capparelli was teaching 9th grade children at a public high school in Newark. (That story dealt with Andrew Dundorf, another man who reports having been sexually abused by Capparelli.) Last month, the school district officials moved Capparelli to a non-teaching position, but he remains on the district payroll.

Capparelli allegedly victimized Fitter between from 1982 through 1983. He allegedly left the priesthood in the 1980s and was also active in the Boy Scouts.

Fitter and his supporters will urge Governor Chris Christie and state legislators to back Senate Bill S2405 and Assembly Bill A3622 which have been bottled up in a legislative committee.  The measure would protect kids by letting more child sex abuse victims expose serial child molesters in court.

In July, another victim sued Capparelli and the archdiocese.

Capparelli has not been defrocked, so he likely is still being paid by the Newark Archdiocese.


Attorney Gregory G. Gianforcaro of Phillipsburg (908) 310-4624[email protected]

Mark Crawford of Woodbridge, NJ SNAP director (732) 632-7687[email protected]

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  • Barbara Dorris
    published this page in Media Events 2011-12-15 08:10:00 -0600

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