CITY PASTOR’S DUTIES STRIPPED
Rev. James Smith, a pastor at St. Kevin's Church in Flushing since 1989, has been stripped of his pastoral duties amid allegations of sexual misconduct with three children two decades ago. He was asked to step down and was placed on administrative leave. Michael Dowd, an attorney representing one of the alleged victims, said last night that Smith is accused of sexual misconduct toward three boys between 10 and 13 years old from 1970 to 1973. At the time, Smith was assigned to Holy Trinity Church in Whitestone. The alleged misconduct supposedly occurred in the church and at Shea Stadium.
Churchgoers at parishes in two northern suburbs learned over the weekend that their priests had been asked to leave. The Rev. John Gallant told churchgoers at St. Joan of Arc in Sloatsburg on Sunday that he was being removed because of a 22 year old allegation involving an 18 year old woman.
A letter read to parishioners at Holy Name of Mary Church in Croton said the Rev. Kenneth Jesselli was removed because of an allegation of inappropriate behavior from his past. Jesselli had replaced another prist, the Rev. Gennaro Gentile, who recently settled a lawsuit alleging he inappropriately touched two teenagers.