LAWSUITS DETAIL ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE
Two lawsuits filed yesterday detailed for the first time sexual abuse allegations against nine Catholic priests and brothers. The information below comes from statements included in the complaints.
THE REV. ALFRED SOAVE
Accused of fondling a 13 year old altar boy in the late 1970s when he served at St. Hugh of Lincoln Parish in Huntington Station. The victim believes that Soave is the Priest T referred to in a Suffolk County grand jury report released earlier this year. The report says Priest T was sent for therapy after multiple allegations of abuse and when it was recommended he not be returned to the ministry, was given the tile of Vicar for Senior Priests. He passed away in March 1999.
THE REV. JOHN MAHONEY
He allegedly spanked and caressed the bare buttocks of an 11 year old altar boy from St. Barnabas the Apostle Church in Bellmore on a trip to West Point that he organized in 1967.
MSGR. RAYMOND STEGMAN
He is accused of fondling and sodomizing a 17 year old sacristan from Notre Dame Parish in New Hyde Park in the 1970s. The abuse allegedly took place in hotels, at St. Gertrude's in Bayville where Stegman was pastor and at the priest's mother's house. Stegman passed away in June 2000.
BROTHER FINNIAN MCGEE
He is accused of groping and rubbing against a 12 year old boy int he early 1970s at St. Joseph's Parish School in Babylon. He was a Franciscan brother and the boy's sixth grade homeroom teacher. He allegedly molested the boy in the classroom and his private school office.
THE REV. BASIL PETER CONGRO
After Congro met his accuser in a confessional at St. Mary's Church in East Islip in the early 1980s, he allegedly groped and sodomized the boy between the ages of 15 and 19 in the church rectory, in Congro's car, at Smith Point County Park, in various gay clubs and in the confessional. Congro passed away in July 1999.
THE REV. RICHARD SCHAEFER
He was in charge of a group of young boys, between 1958 and 1961, who wanted to be priests at St. Philip Neri Church in Northport. His accuser says Schaefer would touch, kiss and fondle him whle telling him that he loved him and that the contact was normal. He abused him on trips, in the rectory, the priest's car, and once when Schaefer came to his house to hear confession because the boy was sick.
THE REV. ROBERT SACCACIO
He is accused of fondling an altar boy int he church sacristy at St. John of God Church in Central Islip in the 1970s. The abuse allegedly started when the boy was 11 and ended when he was 14, after the boy told his parents and they forbid him to continue being an altar boy. Bishop William Murphy stripped the pastor of his ability to work as a priest in May because of other accusations of abuse. He was allowed to retire then.
BROTHER HOWARD MURPHY
He met his accuser at St. Mary's High School in Manhasset around 1984 and sexually and psychologically abused him.
THE REV. WILLIAM MICHAEL BURKE
He is accused of sexually abusing an elementary school student at St. Lawrence the Martyr in Sayville in the early 1970s. Burke died in a house fire in 1995.
These priests who also have been named in the lawsuits previously have been identified in legal papers or news accounts: The Revs. Eugene Vollmer, Robert Huneke, Brian McKeon, James Bergin, Matthew Fitzgerald, Joseph Mundy, Angelo Ditta and Msgr. Charles Ribaudo.