Former S.I. principal, monsignor faces yet another sex-abuse lawsuit, this time in Bronx

Staten Island Advance [Staten Island NY]

June 28, 2021

Monsignor John Paddack, a former principal on Staten Island, faces a new allegation of sexual misconduct during his time at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx.

The Advance/ previously reported on claims of sex-abuse levied against the priest while he served in administrative positions at Monsignor Farrell High School in Oakwood and St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School in Huguenot.

Overall, more than a dozen individuals have filed lawsuits accusing Monsignor Paddack of abuse at the cleric’s various assignments throughout the Archdiocese of New York since the 1980s.

Monsignor Paddack and former religious Brother Christopher Keogan are referred to as “serial pedophiles” in a lawsuit filed in Bronx Supreme Court on May 31 by the Herman Law Firm on behalf of an anonymous male victim.

The defendants in the case, brought under the state’s Child Victims Act, are the archdiocese and Cardinal Hayes High School.

The victim, identified only by the initials H.S. in the lawsuit, alleges he was sexually assaulted and abused by both Monsignor Paddack and Keogan starting in 1997 when the plaintiff was a 16-year-old student at Cardinal Hayes High School.

The lawsuit alleges that the abuse happened inside each priest’s office at the school, where Monsignor Paddack was a teacher and guidance counselor from 1991 to 1998.

“The acts of sexual assault and abuse perpetrated by Monsignor Paddack against the plaintiff include, but are not limited, to: Monsignor Paddack’s fondling of plaintiff’s genitalia; and Monsignor Paddack’s rubbing of his genitalia against plaintiff’s legs for Monsignor Paddack’s sexual gratification,” the lawsuit alleges. “The acts of sexual assault and abuse perpetrated by Monsignor Paddack against plaintiff occurred on multiple occasions.”

The lawsuit alleges that Monsignor Paddack “employed grooming tactics on plaintiff by inviting plaintiff to his office for games of ping pong and pool along with providing plaintiff with candy, gum, hamburgers and pizza.”

The same lawsuit accuses Keogan, who was a teacher at the time, of “fondling [the] plaintiff’s genitalia” on multiple occasions.

Keogan was a principal at Cardinal Hayes High School from 2002 until he resigned in 2008 from the school amid allegations that pornographic images were found on his school computer, according to the lawsuit.

“In 2010, Brother Keogan was indicted for forgery and grand larceny, accused of stealing $50,000 from the school,” the lawsuit states. “He pleaded guilty in 2014 to petit larceny, and agreed to pay back $8,251 to avoid jail.”

Keogan has not been associated with the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers for over a decade and he was dispensed from his vows in 2009, according to an attorney for the order.

The filing alleges that the defendants were “negligent in the hiring, supervision, placement, training and retention” of Monsignor Paddack and Keogan.

“At all relevant times, the defendants knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known that Monsignor Paddack and Brother Keogan had a propensity for the conduct which caused injury to plaintiff, particularly … a propensity to engage in the sexual abuse of children,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit claims that due to negligence on the part of the archdiocese, “plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer severe and permanent psychological, emotional, and physical injuries, shame, humiliation, and the inability to lead a normal life.”

Monsignor John Paddack is shown in this file photo. (Staten Island Advance)
Monsignor John Paddack is shown in this file photo. (Staten Island Advance)


Last month in an interview with the Advance/, attorneys Jeff Anderson and Trusha Goffe of Jeff Anderson & Associates, who represent victims in prior lawsuits, described the scope of allegations their clients have made against Monsignor Paddack.

“We represent 12 survivors and we’re aware of a total of 15 lawsuits that have been filed under the Child Victims Act” that allege Monsignor Paddack sexually abused boys, according to Goffe.

“He is an extraordinarily cunning predator who uses attention and kindness and his position in a really effective way,” Anderson said.

Anderson & Associates’ legal actions in May included a lawsuit by an anonymous male plaintiff alleging abuse from 1987 to 1989, when the victim was 12 to 13 years old. The alleged abuse occurred at Incarnation R.C. Church in Washington Heights, where Monsignor Paddack was a parochial vicar from 1984-1991. The church is listed as a defendant.

Monsignor Paddack also is named in a lawsuit as the alleged abuser of another anonymous plaintiff from 1996 to 1998, when the male victim was 15 to 17 years old. That suit alleges abuse took place at Incarnation and also Cardinal Hayes High School. Both the parish and the high school are listed as defendants.

Filed in July 2020 were four lawsuits against Monsignor Paddack, including one claiming that he sexually abused a boy at Monsignor Farrell High School.

The Archdiocese of New York and Farrell are defendants in that lawsuit, which names the monsignor, who was principal at the high school from 2002 until 2010.

An anonymous man was about 14 to 15 years old when he allegedly was violated by Monsignor Paddack from about 2002 to 2003 at Farrell. When the alleged abuse began, the student was a freshman.

In October 2019, Joseph Caramanno, a public school teacher, stepped forward and spoke to the Advance/ about the abuse he allegedly suffered while he was a student at St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School in Huguenot.

Monsignor Paddack was a faculty member of St. Joseph by-the-Sea from 1998 to 2002.

Caramanno filed two lawsuits that name Monsignor Paddack as his abuser. Caramanno told the Advance/ that he was violated from 2001 to 2002 during school hours inside Monsignor Paddack’s private office in the high school.


Monsignor Paddack stepped down as pastor of Notre Dame R.C. Church in Manhattan and dean of the West Manhattan deanery in July 2019, as the archdiocese reviewed the allegations.

“Msgr. Paddack is not currently allowed to function as a priest while the cases against him proceed,” said Joseph Zwilling, communications director for the archdiocese.

A woman who answered the phone at Notre Dame Church said she would not be able to help when a reporter called trying to get in touch with Monsignor Paddack on Monday.

In a previous interview regarding abuse allegations, Monsignor Paddack said: “Nothing happened, believe me. I have a 50-year record of teaching. And it’s a good record, believe me. I think they’re seeing the advertisements on television and in the paper, and a chance to make money. Very sad, and it could ruin a reputation.”

When reached by phone for comment, Keogan said: “I have never heard anything like that at all ever. I never heard of any kind of abuse.”