NorthJersey.com [Woodland Park NJ]
March 11, 2021
By Abbott Koloff
A second lawsuit has been filed against Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, this one accusing him of sexually abusing an altar boy at St. Nicholas parish in Jersey City in the 1970s, an allegation made public more than a year ago.
The new lawsuit, filed late Tuesday afternoon, alleges DiMarzio abused an altar boy from 1973 through 1976 when the accuser was between 10 and 12 years old. It also accuses another priest, Albert Mark, who is now deceased, of abusing the plaintiff, also at St. Nicholas parish.
The accuser, Mark Matzek, who lives in Monmouth County, went public with his accusations in December of 2019.
An initial lawsuit, filed last month, alleged that DiMarzio sexually abused a 6-year-old boy at a different Catholic parish — Holy Rosary, also in in Jersey City — in 1979 and 1980. The plaintiff, who now lives in Florida, went public with the accusation last year.
DiMarzio, 76, the leader of the Brooklyn Diocese and a former Camden Diocese bishop, has denied the allegations. His attorney, Joseph Hayden Jr., said last month in an emailed statement that the bishop passed a lie detector test related to both accusations. On Wednesday, the bishop and his attorney repeated the assertion about the lie detector test in statements issued in response to the latest lawsuit.
“I took a lie detector test on this matter and my conscience is clear,” DiMarzio said in his statement.
Hayden said the bishop talked to investigators hired by the church to look into the allegations and that “the investigation has been sent to Rome. We are currently awaiting the findings.” He said the bishop’s denial of the allegations were “found to be truthful by an independent retired law-enforcement polygrapher of national stature.”
The church probe had been launched after Pope Francis instructed Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the New York Archdiocese to conduct an investigation into the allegations against DiMarzio.
Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney who represents the plaintiffs in both lawsuits, issued a statement Wednesday calling on Dolan to remove DiMarzio from his position as leader of the Brooklyn Diocese “pending the resolution of the current litigation and investigation as has been customary in similar circumstances.”Get the Coronavirus Watch newsletter in your inbox.
Garabedian said it was “prudent” to file a civil lawsuit now “because it is expected that the current investigation by Cardinal Dolan will be drawn out for years upon years without resolution.”
The lawsuits are among more than 300 civil sex abuse cases that have been filed in New Jersey’s courts since Dec. 1, 2019, when the state suspended the statute of limitations in such cases for two years.
Garabedian has said his clients and their families have also spoken to the investigators hired by the church, and that lie detector tests are unreliable and not admissible in court.
The church investigation was being conducted by a firm founded by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who had investigated allegations against former Penn State football assistant Jerry Sandusky and issued a report that was critical of university officials.
Wednesday’s filing named DiMarzio, St. Nicholas parish and the Archdiocese of Newark as defendants. The archdiocese said in a statement that it would be “inappropriate to discuss or comment on matters in litigation” and that it is “fully committed to transparency and to our long-standing programs to protect the faithful.”