Third accusation leads to the arrest of a Staten Island priest now charged for molesting a minor
The Rev. James Garisto, 73, who spent nearly 40 years as a priest, teacher, and school administrator in the Archdiocese of New York, was arrested Thursday and charged with endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, and indecent assault.
Garisto, who owned a home in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia at the time of the assaults, is accused of attacking the child hundreds of times. He was released from police custody Thursday after posting 10% of his $75,000 bail and purportedly lives in Harrisburg, Pa.
Fr. Garisto was in the public eye in 2015 when he was abruptly removed as pastor of St. Adalbert – St. Roch parish in North Shore Staten Island. The Archdiocese of New York should disclose to the community the reasons why Fr. Garisto abruptly left his position and where he is now. Catholic officials frequently assert that they have concern for victims and yet refuse to release information that would help survivors heal and inform the public about dangerous men. On leave from the Archdiocese of New York since August of 2019, Garisto faces legal action in New York. This new allegation marks the third time that Garisto has been accused of sexual assault and we believe that there may be many more victims.
In August of 2021, SNAP shared the story of Ryan Barry, a husband, and father living now in Pennsylvania, making the details of the abuse he suffered very public in an interview with Staten Island Live news outlet. Ryan accuses Fr. James Garisto of abuse that began when Ryan was a teenager in the 1990s. The clergyman was at the time a pastor, teacher, and school official at St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School.
We stand with the brave victim who has come forward to police regarding the alleged abuse suffered in Philadelphia. We hope this news encourages anyone who has suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted person to come forward to report to authorities, it is never too late.
We also hope the wheels of justice move swiftly in this case and that the alleged abuser is finally judged and removed from ever harming a child ever again.
(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)