Syracuse Catholic Diocese priest charged with forcibly touching minor over several years

Post-Standard - [Syracuse NY]

September 1, 2023

By Fernando Alba

A priest in the Syracuse Catholic Diocese has been charged with forcibly touching a minor over several years, deputies said.

Rev. Nathan Brooks, 36, of LaFayette, is accused of touching the minor between 2019 and 2021 in the town of Homer and in the city of Cortland, Cortland County Sheriff’s Office deputies said in a news release Friday.

Brooks is an administrator at the Church of the Nativity at St. Joseph in LaFayette, Immaculate Conception in Pompey, St. Leo in Tully and St. Patrick Mission in Otisco.

Brooks was ordained in 2019 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. He graduated from Bishop Grimes High School in 2005 before attending St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, according to The Catholic Sun.

Brooks has been suspended from all priest duties as the criminal investigation plays out, the diocese said in a news release.

The diocese released a statement from Bishop Douglas J. Lucia:

“This is distressing news, most certainly to me, and to all of you,” the bishop said. “As a Catholic family, we have been on a journey of trying to make amends for the great harm that was caused in the past and now we are faced with this situation.”

The diocese will continue to fully cooperate with the Cortland County District Attorney’s Office, he said.

The diocese said it would have no further comment.

Brooks was charged with forcible touching, endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree sex abuse, all misdemeanors, deputies said.

He was arraigned in Cortland County CAP Court and has been released. He’s scheduled to appear in Homer town court Sept. 5 and in Cortland city court Sept. 6.

The diocese in July agreed to pay $100 million to sex abuse survivors as part of a bankruptcy settlement.

The diocese filed for bankruptcy days after 38 people filed lawsuits against the diocese alleging sex abuse by priests.

The settlement is the second largest sex abuse payout by a Roman Catholic institution and its affiliates in any Roman Catholic bankruptcy case, according to a law firm that represents over 120 sex abuse survivors in the Syracuse diocese.