Priest Gets Life for Molesting Boy

By Stephanie Saul
Newsday [Massachusetts]
May 21, 2004

A Roman Catholic priest who once served in Queens and Brooklyn began serving a life prison term Thursday for raping and sexually abusing a boy more than two decades ago.

The Rev. Romano Ferraro, 70, was sentenced Thursday following his conviction May 7 for assaulting the son of a family friend from Brooklyn. During his trial, Ferraro admitted he was a "pedophile predator" who had abused children in three states, but he denied he molested his friend's son.

The jury believed the testimony of the boy, now 37 and a New Hampshire resident, who said Ferraro repeatedly victimized him during Christmas visits to his family's Massachusetts home. At the time, he was from 4 to 13 years old.

The Diocese of Brooklyn ordained Ferraro in 1960 and barred him from active ministry by the late 1980s following a similar abuse claim. At the time of his arrest in 2002, he was living at Parsons Manor, a home for priests in Jamaica. Ferraro is a defendant in three civil suits alleging sexual abuse in both Brooklyn and Missouri.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Thursday applauded the life sentence by Associate Justice Raymond J. Brassard of Middlesex Superior Court.

"Judge Brassard has sent a clear and powerful message that those who harm a child will be required to pay for their crimes," said David Cerulli, a SNAP board member from New York.

Local parishes where Ferraro served in the 1960s and 1970s include St. Joseph's in Astoria and Holy Family in Canarsie.