Syracuse Diocese, Former Priest Facing Lawsuit over Sexual Abuse Claims
By Justine Marschner
June 5, 2017
A California man is suing the Syracuse Catholic Diocese and a former priest for $25 million, claiming that he was sexually abused nearly 30 years ago, according to the criminal complaint.
The lawsuit was filed on Friday, June 2nd in Connecticut by Matthew Strzepek who alleges former priest, Felix Colosimo, molested him from 1987 through 1990 when he was only 12-15 years old.
The paperwork obtained by CNYCentral claims that the abuse began when Strzepek attended a conference in New York City with Colosimo and other Catholic priests and spent the night in Connecticut.
During the trip in the fall of 1987, Strzepek was only 12-years-old and claims he was anally and orally raped by Colosimo. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that Colosimo also performed oral sex on Strzepek.
The abuse is said to have lasted for three years.
The lawsuit also claims that "John Doe" was sexually abused by Colosimo. It states that Colosimo would often abuse both Strzepek and John Doe at the same time, with some of their interactions being videotaped.
26 years later in 2013, Strzepek notified the Diocese that he had been sexually abused by Colosimo. After a year of investigating, the Diocese told Strzepek that they had found his claims against Colosimo to be true.
The Diocese released the following statement regarding the claims:
The Diocese of Syracuse received an allegation of abuse from Matthew Strzepek against Felix Colosimo. The Diocese of Syracuse found the accusation credible. Felix Colosimo was permanently removed from ministry in 2014 in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. As a result, he can no longer function or present himself as a priest. In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding with the District Attorneys of the seven counties of the diocese, the Oneida County District Attorney was informed of the allegation. There are many allegations in the complaint that are markedly different than those presented to the Diocese of Syracuse. Due to the pending litigation, the Diocese is unable to elaborate further at this time.
The lawsuit can be viewed below: