Rev. Carmen Sita—Assignment
a.k.a. Rev. Gerald Howard
Summary of Case: Arrested Sept. 15, 1982 on charges of abusing a teen boy multiple times and providing him with drugs. He pleaded guilty 1983, was sentenced to 5 years probation and sent to Foundation House in Albuquerque NM. Per 2009 articles, less than a year later Sita had legally changed his name to Gerald Howard and was assigned to the Jefferson City MO diocese where he soon offended again, allegedly molesting a boy during 1983-88 and providing him with drugs. This abuse was reported in 2007. The claim was settled for $600K. Sita/Howard was arrested April 28, 2010 and charged with forcible sodomy, attempted sodomy, and kidnapping of three MO boys in the 1980s. In October and November 2012 Howard was being investigated for the sexual abuse of children at a MO hospital where he worked as a counselor in the 1980s.
Ordained: May 1976
Incardinated: Newark NJ archdiocese 1976-1983; Jefferson City diocese 1983-1984.
Archbishop was Peter L. Gerety (1974-86)
|NJ||5/6, 5/7, 4/6. Priests were Msgr. John J. Cassels STL (pastor emeritus) and Revs. Timothy F. Hourihan, Theodore W. Osbahr, Charles F. Christell STL, Carmen Sita, and Peter Ling (China). Rev. Joseph B. Bagley replaced Hourihan as pastor in 1977. In 1978, Auxiliary Bishop Jerome A. Pechillo TOR came in residence. In 1979, Cassels left; Ling was incardinated and moved up past Sita; Rev. Robert F. Coleman arrived. In 1979, the sequence was: Bagley, Osbahr, Ling, Sita, Coleman, Pechillo. In 1980, Rev. Gregory Studerus replaced Osbahr.||In Newark archdiocese. In 1976-77, parish elementary school had 940 pupils; the parish's so-called Classical High had 480 pupils. In 1981-82, the grammar school had 815 pupils, and the HS had 498 pupils.|
|9/15/82||Arrested and charged with sexual contact with a male juvenile on diverse dates and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance.||Hudson County||NJ|
|1983||Pleaded guilty; sentenced to 5 years probation.||Listed in the 1983 Directory as an unassigned Newark priest. Also unassigned were Revs. John Colabelli, James A. Pindar, and Carl Young.|
|1983||Foundation House||Albuquerque||NM||While in New Mexico, Sita's name was changed to Rev. Gerald Howard.|
Bishop was Michael F. McAuliffe (1969-97)
|1984||SS. Peter and Paul||
• Howard was arrested April 2010 and charged with sexually assaulting three MO boys in the 1980s. The charges inluded kidnapping and forcible sodomy. The abuse is said to have occurred between 1983-1988.
|MO||2/2. Priests were Revs. Richard Cronin and Gerald Howard.||
In the Jefferson City diocese. Parish grammar school had 181 students.
Howard left SS. Peter and Paul after officials found marijuana in his rectory bedroom.
• In Nov. 2012 investigators were looking into allegations that Howard sexually abused a boy in Columbia in the 1980s, and they were investigating claims that he sexually abused children at Charter Hospital.
|MO||counselor||Howard is said to have lived in a Boonville, MO apartment and gotten a job as a substance abuse counselor after leaving SS. Peter and Paul.|
|mid-1980s||Fulton||MO||The mother of one of Howard's alleged victims said in a written notarized statement that Howard was her son's counselor in the mid-1980s at Charter Hospital, and he told her at the time that he had a new job as a counselor in Fulton.|
|2012||Howard was in New Jersey at the time of his April 2010 arrest. He was extradited to Missouri and held in the Cooper County jail. His trial started Oct. 31, 2012.|
Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons). See the Directory entries. See also:
• Priest Charged with Sex Assault, Associated Press (9/16/82)
• Father Carmen Sita, United Press International (9/17/82)
• Former Jersey City Priest Who Admitted Molesting Teen Accused of Sexual Abuse in Missouri, by Ron Zeitlinger, Jersey Journal (8/13/09)
• Settlement in Missouri Church Abuse Case Disclosed, Kansas City Star (8/13/09)
• Diocese Settles over Sex-abuse Allegation, by Janese Heavin, Columbia Daily Tribune (8/13/09)
• Jefferson City Diocese Didn't Know about Boonville Abuse for 25 Years, by Bob Priddy, Missourinet (8/13/09)
• Diocese Settles Boonville Priest Abuse Case, by Mark Slavit, Connect Mid-Missouri (8/13/09)
• Missouri Lawsuit Settled for $600K in Case of Former Priest Who Admitted to Molesting a Boy in Jersey City, by Jeff Diamant, Star-Ledger (8/13/09)
• Jefferson City Diocese Settles Priest Abuse Case, by Christine Lesicko, Missourian (8/14/09)
• Sexual Abuse and Church Settlement, KOMU (8/14/09)
• $600G Settlement Puts Spotlight on Sex-abuse Priest, by Ron Zeitlinger, Jersey Journal (8/14/09)
• Attorney: Abuse Settlement Will Help Client Pay Bills, by Nate Birt, Boonville Daily News (8/17/09)
• More Alleged Victims of Jersey City Priest's Sex Abuse Come Forward, By Michaelangelo Conte
Jersey Journal, August 24, 2009
• More Accuse Priest, 4 Others Hurt, Says Victim Whose Case Drew $600G, By Michaelangelo Conte
Jersey Journal, August 25, 2009
• Ex-Boonville Resident Claims Double Life Resulted from Priest's Sexual Abuse, By Nate Birt, Boonville Daily News, August 25, 2009
• Priest Sexual Abuse Victim Goes Public, By Kermit Miller, Connect Mid-Missouri, August 25, 2009
• Father of Abuse Victim Speaks, Urges Transparency by Catholic Church, By Courtney Shove, Columbia Missourian, August 25, 2009
• Victim's Family Goes Public, By Beth Ford, KOMU. August 26, 2009
• No New Abuse Allegations Received, Diocese Says, By Courtney Shove, Missourian, August 30, 2009
• Honesty Overdue on Abusive Priest, By Michael Wegs, Columbia Daily Tribune, September 1, 2009
• Part 1: Former Boonville Parish Attendee Discusses Priest Abuse Claims, By Nate Birt, Boonville Daily News, September 3, 2009
• David Learns to Use His Sling, By Nicole Sotelo, National Catholic Reporter, September 3, 2009
Church Has Been Forthright
• Actions Remedy Culture of Abuse, By Bishop John Gaydos, Columbia Daily Tribune, September 6, 2009
• Metro Columnist Dan Casey: a Haunted Heart, By Dan Casey, Roanoke Times, September 29, 2009
• 2 Say Ex-Boonville Priest Worked at Columbia Hospital, By Nate Birt, Booville Daily News, October 1, 2009
• Prosecutor: Ex-boonville Priest Suspected of Sexual Assaults Taken into Custody, By Nate Birt, Boonville Daily News, April 28, 2010
• Jersey City Ex-Priest, Guilty in 1982 of Sexual Assault, Charged in Missouri 1980s Abuse Cases, Jersey Journal, April 29, 2010
• Former Boonville Priest Indicted on Sodomy Charges, By Aimee Hall, Columbia Missourian, April 29, 2010
• Former Booneville Priest Arrested on Child Molestation Charges from the 1980’s, By Ryan Famuliner, Missourinet, April 29, 2010
• Cops: Predatory Priest from Jersey City Moved, Struck Again, Jersey Journal, May 3, 2010
• Former Boonville Priest Extradited, Columbia Daily Tribune, May 17, 2010
• Mid-Missouri Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Seeks Change of Venue, Different Judge, KPLR, May 24, 2010
• Former Boonville Priest Gerald Howard's Court Hearing Rescheduled, By Eric Berger, Boonville Daily News , September 28, 2010
• Former Jersey City Priest in Missouri Court Today, Facing Sex Charges, By Michaelangelo Conte,
Jersey Journal, December 13, 2010
• Howard Case Continued to January, By Drew Deubner, Boonville Daily News, December 27, 2011
• Witness in Boonville Priest Sex Abuse Case Recalls Years of Abuse, By Ben Nadler, The Missourian, October 31, 2012
• Former Boonville Priest Wants to Dismiss Sexual Abuse Charges, By Mark Slavit, Connect Midmissouri, October 31, 2012
• Former Boonville Priest Fights Sexual Abuse Charges, By Ben Nadler, The Missourian, October 31, 2012
• Men Describe Priest’s Alleged Abuse, By Brennan David, Columbia Daily Tribune, November 1, 2012
• Priest Accused of More Crimes, ABC 17, November 15, 2012
Priests in a Parish: We use the following
convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means
that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually
the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand
3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample
page from the Directory.
Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.
This assignment record collates Sita/Howard's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with media reports of his 1982 arrest, 1983 conviction, and 2009 settlement. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.
This assignment record was last updated on Nov. 27, 2012.