Two More Catholic Clerics Sued in New Jersey thanks to the Child Victims Act
A Catholic priest and a Catholic brother have been named in lawsuits for child sexual abuse in New Jersey. This latest news that shows the great benefit of the state’s Child Victims Act. Giving survivors their chance at a day in court can lead to safer, more informed communities.
Father Patrick Barrett, who worked at St. Anthony of Padua in Woodbridge, and Brother Regis Moccia, who taught at St. Joseph’s in Metuchen, have both been named for the first time in lawsuits filed against the Diocese of Metuchen. According to the complaint against Fr. Barrett, he is accused of grooming and sexually abusing a 9 to 10-year-old child from 1983 to 1984 when the victim participated in youth and church activities at St. Anthony. The lawsuit against Br. Moccia accused him of sexually abusing a 13 to 14-year-old student from 1994-1995 while the victim was a student at St. Joseph’s.
We applaud these brave survivors for coming forward and sharing their stories publicly. When accused abusers are named for the first time, it often brings others who were hurt and are still suffering in silence forward. We hope that anyone who may have been abused by either of these men will be inspired by these brave victims and make their own police report.
This story is yet another example of why archaic statute of limitations legislation must be reformed and repealed so that survivors are not bound by legal technicalities and can come forward to share who hurt them and who enabled their abuse. Communities are safer when perpetrators are known and giving survivors their day in court is a major component of creating safer and more informed communities. We hope that every state in the union will follow the example of New Jersey and work on passing SOL reform now.
(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)