St. Joseph High School sued by Somerset man claiming sexual abuse by priest

Courier News

July 22, 2020

By Nick Muscavage

Metuchen – A former St. Joseph High School student is suing the Diocese of Metuchen claiming he was sexually abused and “groomed” for 16 years by a Catholic priest while enrolled at the private school.

The victim, from the Somerset section of Franklin Township, filed the lawsuit on July 10 in Middlesex County Superior Court and names the Dioceses of Metuchen and Trenton, St. Joseph High School, and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart as defendants. The name of the victim, who is now an adult, is being withheld by My Central Jersey because he was a minor at the time he said he was sexually abused by Rev. Frank Iazzetta.

The victim, represented by attorney Jay Silvio Mascolo of RAM Law, claims he was first sexually abused by Iazzetta when he became a freshman student at St. Joe’s.

Some of the sexual abuse occurred on the grounds of St. Joe’s, including on the school campus and at Iazzetta’s residence at St. Joe’s, according to the lawsuit. Iazzetta’s sexual abuse of the victim “occurred during activities that were sponsored by, or were a direct result” of activities sponsored by the dioceses, St. Joe’s and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.

The lawsuit claims that St. Joe’s, which is operated by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, and the Dioceses of Metuchen and Trenton “knew or should have known that Father Iazzetta was a known sexual abuser of children.”

Iazzetta, who died in 2007, was named in 2019 by the Diocese of Trenton as a priest who was “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse. The diocese said Iazzetta had “multiple” victims.

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