Former Morris Pastor Sued in Sex Assault

By Bill Riley
May 6, 1994

Rev. John Pisarcik, former pastor of a Roman Catholic parish in Rockaway, was sued yesterday by the mother of one of two boys the priest admitted sexually molesting. The suit, filed in Morristown on behalf of "James Doe" by attorney Dennis Donnelly, is the second to be brought against Pisarcik and the Diocese of Paterson by the parents of boys who were induced to engage in sex acts by the priest between 1986 and October 1991. In January, a nearly identical suit filed by attorney Gerald Kelly sought damages for "John Doe." Both actions contend diocese officials and supervisors negligently failed to make adequate inquiries into Pisarcik's fitness to function as a parish priest and interact with young boys before assigning him to duties at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church and its school.

Each suit cites complaints that the priest held himself out as a "religious authority figure" who counseled the victims that both heterosexual and homosexual relationships were appropriate "as long as the parties consented, had respect for each other and, most importantly, had a special friendship." The sex abuse victims, both under age 13 at the time of the molestations, have been traumatized by their experiences, suffered permanent psychological injury and are having difficulties with their faith in God and the Roman Catholic religion, the legal papers maintain. The suits contend Pisarcik and his superiors should be held liable to pay compensatory, punitive and special damages. The diocese has declined comment. Pisarcik, 49, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault in 1992 and was sentenced last year to a five-year commitment to the state's Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel as a compulsive sex offender. At his sentencing, authorities said the man was classified a pedophile.


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