|Priest Is Indicted on Abuse Counts
By Debra Lemoine
September 5, 2008
ARRESTED IN MASSENA: Charges could yield 24 years in prison for the Rev. John Broderick
MASSENA — A priest arrested in February in Massenahas been indicted on three felony counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and three misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He faces a maximum of 24 years in prison, according to New York City attorney John A. Aretakis.
The Rev. John W. Broderick, 47, Nicholville, was involved with the Dominican Sisters — a Catholic group not recognized by the Vatican — who run the Holy Name of Jesus Academy in Massena. Broderick assisted in the school's blessing ceremony when it opened last year, according to a Society of St. Pius X newsletter. The Society of St. Pius X is a right-wing Catholic group that also is not recognized by the Vatican.
The society declined to comment about Broderick, saying only that he is not a member of its order. The Dominican sisters also refused to comment.
"There are a lot of church groups who have known about this guy and are just passing the buck," said Mr. Aretakis, who represents children abused by members of the clergy. "There's a lot of people that have a lot of questions to answer."
No complaints were filed against Broderick in Massena. The charges he faces come from Montgomery County, west of Albany.
In May 2007, one of Mr. Aretakis's clients claimed that Broderick was giving alcohol to children, and he was put on leave a second time. After this charge, families started coming forward with claims of sexual abuse. His first suspension came approximately six years ago, after he refused to take a psychiatric exam.
One family in Montgomery County, where Broderick worked for six years, claimed he had inappropriate sexual contact with at least four family members, ranging in age from 5 to 11, over a few months in 2007.
"I think he is one of the worst pedophiles imaginable, because to abuse a 5-year-old child is just sick," Mr. Aretakis said.
Broderick never worked as a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Albany, of which Montgomery County is a part, according to Kenneth J. Goldfarb, communications director for the diocese.
"As far as we know, he never operated as a priest in the Albany diocese," Mr. Goldfarb said. "Under canon law, he would have to identify himself to the diocese" as wanting to preach there and would then receive a facility. The Albany diocese had never heard of Broderick until reading about his arrest in the media.
"Getting to the matter of this family, we have not heard who they are — they have not come forward to us," Mr. Goldfarb said. "But certainly we would try to assist them, as we would any family in need, if they are in need."
Broderick was ordained a Catholic priest in Syracuse in 1989. Though there are holes in his employment history, officials do know that he was a pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows in Vestal, Broome County, from 1994 to 1996. No complaints about him were received from parishioners then. He taught at St. Gregory's Academy, a Catholic boys school in Elmhurst, Pa., during the 2000-01 school year. His affiliation with the Dominican nuns began last year.
Broderick is believed to be living either with his parents in Binghamton, or in Massena, according to Mr. Aretakis.He was released shortly after his arrest in February, after an unidentified person posted his $100,000 bail.
His trial is scheduled to begin in early November.
"What is dangerous is it's very very close to the Canadian border," Mr. Aretakis said, worrying that Broderick may turn into a "flight case," hopping across the border and not coming back for his trial.
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