Rockaway Pastor Pleads Innocent to Charges of Molesting 2 Boys

By Brian T. Murray
October 5, 1991

The pastor of a Rockaway church was arraigned yesterday on charges of sexually molesting two young boys several times over the past two years. The Rev. John G. Pisarcik, 47, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church on Main Street since 1986, was released on a $5,000 recognizance bond after surrendering and pleading innocent before Superior Judge Stephen Smith in Morristown. "We received information only yesterday and acted on it by conducting interviews. In less than 24 hours, complaints were signed," said Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Karin Kelly-Weisert, adding she could not release further details.

Pisarcik has been suspended from his duties at the church and at the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, where he was in charge of some educational programs, according to police and officials at the Paterson Diocese. The diocese is offering an opportunity for Pisarcik to undergo psycho- sexual evaluations in a Maryland hospital and, if necessary, receive treatment in a hospital in New Mexico, his attorney said. "It's not an admission of any guilt; he has entered a plea of not guilty .. The diocese suggested these possibilities ... They have not been arranged," said Donald Belsole, Pisarcik's attorney. Pisarcik, a priest 24 years, is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The allegations contend he molested one parishoner, who is now 13, between Aug. 31, 1989, and Thursday, and the other boy, also a parishoner and now 12, between June 1 and Aug. 25. The acts took place on the church grounds in Rockaway and at an undisclosed location in Vernon, according to the complaints against Pisarcik, who lived at the church rectory. Kelly-Weisert said each boy was approached by the priest on separate occasions. "Father Pisarcik has been placed on administrative leave from all his duties as a priest within the diocese. This administrative leave will continue until the charges against Father Pisarcik have been resolved," said Msgr. Herbert K. Tillyer of the diocese. "The diocese will proceed immediately to seek to address the pastoral and psychological needs of both the alleged victims and their families, and of Father Pisarcik," he added.


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