A Priest Abused Him As a Young Boy. Another Priest Rescued Him, Only to Do the Same Thing.
By Alex Napoliello
October 7 2020
The young priest was supposed to be David’s savior.
A charismatic man of God, he vowed to protect the boy after years of sexual abuse at the hands of a well-respected Bayonne pastor.
The Rev. Kenneth L. Martin even confronted Msgr. Edward F. Wojtycha, his superior at St. Andrews Church — and David’s alleged abuser — in a heated argument, David said. After that, the boy felt protected. He found solace in someone who cared. Someone he could trust.
“He sold himself as my salvation, that he could somehow intervene,” David said. Martin turned out to be anything but a salvation.
The priest would also sexually abuse him, said David, 45, who requested NJ Advance Media identify him only by his middle name.
The abuse started when he was just 7 years old and lasted for years between the two priests, he said. He endured beatings, psychological torture — including threats against his family — and sodomy, David said. It happened in the church. At hotels. And at a Jersey Shore house.
David is not alone.
Martin is among the 188 clergy who stand credibly accused of sexually abusing children, according to a list released in 2019 by the five Catholic dioceses in New Jersey. Martin is also a defendant in a lawsuit filed in July by another man who alleges the priest sexually assaulted him between the ages of 11 to 14 in the early 1980s. And NJ Advance Media has spoken to a third alleged victim of Martin’s, Mark Crawford, who says he and two of his younger brothers were abused by the priest. Yet, Wojtycha — a man once called a “great inspiration” on the floor of the House of Representatives by then-Rep. Robert Menendez in 2003 — is not named on the list of credibly accused clergy. He died in 2009 after serving as a priest for 65 years, mostly in Hudson County.