Priest-turned-educator surrenders state teaching license over sex abuse allegations

The Star-Ledger

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on June 30, 2013

A public school teacher in Newark has agreed to the revocation of his teaching certificates over allegations that he repeatedly groped teenage boys in the 1970s and 1980s, when he was engaged in active ministry as a Roman Catholic priest.

The Rev. John Capparelli reached a settlement with the State Board of Examiners, the body that regulates teachers, ahead of a scheduled hearing before an administrative law judge earlier this month. The revocation takes effect today.

At least two of Capparelli’s alleged victims, Rich Fitter and Andrew Dundorf, were to testify at the hearing. A deputy attorney general also was expected to present evidence showing the teacher ran a fetish website featuring young men wrestling in skimpy bikini bathing suits.

“I’m happy that after all this time, he’s finally being held accountable,” said Fitter, a Montclair resident who contends Capparelli, now 64, touched him inappropriately and brutalized him during “submission wrestling” matches in the 1980s. “He should not be around children. To me, he should be in jail.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.