NJ Priest Accused of Groping Woman at His Church, Prosecutor Says


August 17, 2020

A diocesan priest in northern New Jersey is accused of allegedly groping a woman over the course of months, according to the Hudson County prosecutor.

Rev. Donato Cabardo, 56, was arrested Friday in connection with alleged sexual crimes that occurred in the rectory at St. Paul of the Cross Church in Jersey City where Cabardo is a diocesan priest, according to Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.

Cabardo has been charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact and one count of harassment, a petty disorderly persons offense.

Following his arrest, he was released on a summons complaint and is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 9.

Attorney information for Cabardo was not immediately known.

According to prosecutors, the alleged crimes involved an adult female victim and were first reported to the Archdiocese of Newark. The Archdiocese notified the New Jersey Clergy Abuse Task Force and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit which then investigated the allegations.

Prosecutors say that their subsequent investigation revealed that between January and July 2020 Cabardo allegedly touched the victim’s breast and buttocks for the purpose of sexually arousing or sexually gratifying himself. He also allegedly pressed his cheek against her cheek and kissed her cheek, hand, face and head.

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