Inwood Priest Sexually Assaulted Children at Bronx Parish: Lawyer
By Brendan Krisel
Washington Heights Patch
November 9, 2017
A catholic priest accused of molesting two boys at a Bronx church is now stationed at an Inwood parish, lawyers told Patch Thursday.
Two men have accused Lawrence Quinn of molesting them at Our Lady of Mercy Church in the Bronx, but the priest still serves the New York Archdiocese as a Parochial Vicar at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Inwood on Arden Street, the accusers' lawyer Patrick Noaker told Patch.
Quinn preyed on his first victim when he served as an altar boy at the Bronx church between 1990 and 1996, Noaker told Patch. The boy was between 5- and 11-years-old at the time of the abuse, the lawyer said. The second victim was between 12- and 14-years-old when Quinn molested him between 1999 and 2001, Noaker said. The boy was training to become an altar boy at the time of the assault, the lawyer told Patch.
Both men have filed claims against Quinn with the New York Archdiocese through its Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, but Quinn continues to serve the church to this day, Noaker told Patch.
"Protecting kids must be our first priority," Noaker said during a press conference in front of the archdiocese Manhattan headquarters Thursday. "It is extremely troubling that Father Lawrence Quinn is still serving in a parish after two survivors have come forward and alerted the Church with reports of his abuse."
The 72-year-old priest denied any wrongdoing in an interview with the New York Daily News.
"It's news to me, let me tell you that," Quinn told the Daily News. "Between you and me, I don't have any sexual impetus. Never have, since I became a priest. I put that to the side."
Quinn was stationed at Our Lady of Mercy Church between 1983 and 2002 and arrived at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in February 2016, Noaker told Patch.
A spokesman for the New York Archdiocese told Patch that the church does not comment on individual claims in the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, but did say that Quinn had no previous complaints of sexual misconduct.
"As has always been our policy and practice, we allow the District Attorney an opportunity to investigate the allegation before taking any action against the priest or deacon," Archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwilling told Patch of the church's procedure for removing a priest.
"We do this at the DA's request, so that they might conduct a proper investigation without the priest or deacon receiving 'advance notice' of the investigation by the archdiocese taking action by removing him from ministry."
In addition to a district attorney investigation, the Archdiocese will also conduct an internal investigation into the accused priest before deciding on an action.
The claims submitted by Noaker's clients were filed in September and October this year, he told Patch. Noaker told Patch that his clients requested the lawyer hold a press conference because Quinn is still stationed at a church despite their accusations.
In the case of Quinn, the church cannot wait for the investigation process to play out before taking action, Noaker said.
"The Archdiocese's failure to take action means that more children are possibly in danger, and Cardinal Dolan must remove Father Quinn from service immediately while a full investigation can take place," Noaker said Thursday.