NEW YORK (NY)
Media Entertainment Arts WorldWide - MEAWW [Karnataka, India]
August 1, 2021
By Sayantani Nath
Father Louis Gigante is the brother of late mobster Vincent Gigante aka ‘The Chin’, who was the head of the Genovese crime family
Retired priest Louis Gigante, who is best recognized as the brother of late mobster Vincent Gigante of the Genovese crime family, has now been accused of sexual abuse of a minor boy. A lawsuit was filed in May 2021 against Father Gigante, on the allegation that he molested a nine-year-old boy at St. Athanasius Church in 1976-77. The retired priest reportedly subjected the unnamed victim to “endure prolific and profound abuse” during bible study sessions.
According to the court documents, “[The] plaintiff would attend bible study at the church with Father Gigante and (he) would find ways to get plaintiff alone … and repeatedly performed oral sex on him.” The suit further alleges that Gigante’s Bronx parish as well as the Archdiocese of New York “knew or should have known that Father Gigante was sexually abusing children and/or had the propensity to do so.” Presently, the suit demands unspecified damages from the church and Archdiocese of New York. The TV series ‘Godfather of Harlem’ has been inspired by the Gigante family.
Who is Louis Gigante?
Father Louis Gigante was a former priest at the St. Athanasius Church in Bronx, New York. He happens to be the brother of convicted mobster Vincent ‘Chin’ Gigante, who was the head of the Genovese crime family, which operated in New York from 1981 to 2005.
Louis Gigante was a well-known figure around the 1970s and 1980s, especially in South Bronx, where he even fought for tenant rights reform. He even claimed credit for the “rejuvenation” of Bronx, as he helped in the construction and rehabilitation of 1,100 federally subsidized apartments in the area. He also started the influential South East Bronx Community Organization (SEBCO) and was hailed as a community activist.
When Vincent Gigante was arrested and convicted, Father Louis Gigante was spotted regularly by his brother’s side. He supported him through thick and thin till his death in 2005.
Now, Gigante is one among the 177 people named in a “wave of lawsuits” against individuals associated with the Archdiocese of New York. According to Daily Mail, “The complaints were made under the state’s 2019 Child Victims Act which granted a one-year window for child sexual abuse survivors to file suits on cases that had already exceeded the statute of limitations.”
Meanwhile, NYC-based legal firm Curis Law who is representing the survivor, stated, “We commend all child sexual abuse survivors coming forward and seeking justice.”