"It's Terrible What You've Done to All of Us"

A Discussion with James Hanley

By Patrick Kelly, Lou Serrano, Pat Serrano, Mark Serrano, Donna Skettini, Ray Skettini, and others
January 30, 2006

[Note: This is a transcript by of a video made by CBS-TV. A link to the video can be found at:, with a news story about the encounter. For background, see Former Altar Boy Describes Years of Abuse, Then Years of Silence, by Richard Lezin Jones, New York Times (3/17/02); Victims Share Pain, Anger in Mendham, by Abbott Koloff, Daily Record (4/21/02); 4 Cardinals + Archbishop H. Flynn Meet 25 Survivors of Clergy Sex Abuse, transcribed by Helen Daly, (6/12/02); The Priest and the Boy, by Jason Berry, Rolling Stone (6/20/02); and The Death of an Outspoken Victim of Abuse, by Ronald Smothers, New York Times (10/14/03). For more on the Patterson encounter, see Victims, Now Men, Show Ex-Morris Priest No Fear, by Abbott Koloff, Daily Record (1/30/06); Child Molester Gets an Earful, by Barbara Williams, Herald News (1/30/06); and Church Officials Wash Their Hands of Ex-Priest Hanley, by Abbott Koloff, Daily Record (2/4/06). For later events, see Ex-Priest's Former Prey Watch Him with Worry, by Jeff Diamant, Star-Ledger 3/22/06).]

NBC REPORTER: How many people did you abuse, and are you still a threat to children?

JAMES HANLEY: Approximately, approximately 12.

PAT KELLY: Am I one of them?

HANLEY: Nowheres near the 21. Who are you?

PAT KELLY: Pat Kelly. You abused my brother, who's dead now.

HANLEY: Pat, I did. Pat, I did. I did abuse you — once. But never Jimmy, never, in my life.

PAT KELLY: My brother's dead and he can't speak up for himself, but ...

HANLEY: I swear on my mother's grave ...

PAT KELLY: ... he said you abused him.

HANLEY: He said I did, but I swear on my mother's grave I never did.

LOU SERRANO: Hello, Jim.

HANLEY: Hello. Nice to see you again, Lou. Look at me in the eye this time. Look at me in the eye. [rushing at Lou Serrano]

LOU SERRANO: I can't say the same to you, Jim, that it's nice to see you.

HANLEY: Do you see me blink? [shouting] You're a liar!

LOU SERRANO: Jim, you are sick.

MARK SERRANO: You're a serial child rapist.

LOU SERRANO: You're sick.

MALE: You're a pedophile ...

LOU SERRANO: You are a rapist. You raped my son [shouting] when he was 9 years old ...

HANLEY: You're a liar.

LOU SERRANO: ... and you admitted it and I have it on tape.

PAT KELLY: A liar about what?

PAT SERRANO: [to her husband] Back up, back up.

PAT SERRANO: Jim Hanley, it's terrible what you've done to all of us.

LOU SERRANO: You're a sodomist and a rapist of children, and the people in this neighborhood should know about you, because you are a predator, confessed predator.

HANLEY: Did you take those pictures of me, Pat Serrano?

PAT SERRANO: No, I did not.

HANLEY: [rushing at Pat Serrano] Who was the private investigator?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't matter, you're a ...

HANLEY: Who was the private investigator? Tell me who was the private investigator? Who took my pictures? [shouting] They're lies!

LOU SERRANO: Don't get near my wife, Hanley, or I'll lose it, if you get near my wife.

HANLEY: Look at the website, that they posted. [Hanley is referring to photographs posted on the Web site of the organization HOST. See also Church Officials Wash Their Hands of Ex-Priest Hanley, by Abbott Koloff, Daily Record (2/2/06).]

PAT SERRANO: You're the liar, Jim Hanley.

NEWS 12 REPORTER: Mr. Hanley, you have to understand that these people, you have to understand, how do you answer to this? I mean, you have to answer to this. You have to understand. You know, you did not ...

HANLEY: I did not abuse all of them.

CROWD: Aww ...

MALE: What about one? That makes a big difference.

LOU SERRANO: "I swear to God, I didn't abuse anybody," and now you say, "I didn't abuse all of them?"

PAT SERRANO: What about Jimmy Kelly?

HANLEY: I did not abuse Jimmy Kelly.

MALE: How about the Cotton boy?

PAT KELLY: Jimmy was my brother ...

HANLEY: Jimmy Kelly's blood is on your hands.

PAT KELLY: You didn't give him beer, cigarettes...

HANLEY: I did not.

PAT KELLY: ... pornography.

HANLEY: I did not.

PAT KELLY: You did. If you did it to me and two other brothers you did it to my dead brother.

PAT SERRANO: You did it to three of my sons, Jim Hanley.

HANLEY: It will come out. It will come out.

PAT KELLY: You're sick. You're a sick man.

NBC REPORTER: Why are you living in an area where there's children around?

LOU SERRANO: You know what's on your soul? His brother committed suicide ...

HANLEY: If Jerry Speziale [sheriff of Passaic County] wants me to go to jail, I will be the first to go to jail. Let him cuff me now.

LOU SERRANO: Oh, you know you're beyond the statute of limitations.

NEWS 12 REPORTER: Mr. Hanley, why does someone have to want you to be held accountable? Why don't you feel that you should be held accountable on your own?

HANLEY: I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.

NEWS 12 REPORTER: Why don't, why don't you feel that you should be held accountable on your own? How do you answer for these crimes? How do you pay ...

HANLEY: How do I answer when everybody accuses me? What grounds do I have to stand on?

NEWS 12 REPORTER: You have admitted ...

HANLEY: I have admitted to some of them, not all of them.

NEWS 12 REPORTER: So for those, for those. What did you ... How do you ...


HANLEY: That's right, I did, Paul. I never abused you, and you know that.

PAUL STEIDLER: You messed with my head. You messed with my head.

HANLEY: I didn't physically abuse ...

PAUL STEIDLER: You didn't touch my genitals, but you caused severe damage.

DONNA SKETTINI: Did you abuse this man right here? Ray Skettini?

HANLEY: Ray Skettini, yes I did.

DONNA SKETTINI: He's my husband ...

HANLEY: Yes, I know ...

DONNA SKETTINI: You married us ...

HANLEY: Yes, I did ...

DONNA SKETTINI: You baptized our daughter ...

HANLEY: Yes, I did ... and Ray knows I'm God damned sorry for what I did to him too, right Ray?

PAT KELLY: How does Ray know that?

HANLEY: He knows.

RAY SKETTINI: I know you never got the help that you really needed ...

HANLEY: That's right, Ray, not from the diocese. I had to seek it on my own.

DONNA SKETTINI: That doesn't make it any better ...

RAY: How much you're personally culpable, I still don't know. I know you said you're sorry.

HANLEY: Ray, I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart for what I did to you, son ...

RAY: Jim Hanley, you still never got all the help you needed ...

HANLEY: That's right, son ...

RAY: And that's why I stand here today. I'm very concerned about it ...

HANLEY: I love you, Ray, and I hope you forgive me, babe.

RAY: Oh, I don't know if I can forgive anything anymore, but what I do know is, this is where the problem really lies now ... lies in the fact that you, and many others like you that abused still are not getting the help that they need. And I'm going to take it a step further and tell you that laicization and then throwing you out of the priesthood doesn't do any more good, it only does more harm, because who's watching you now? That's why we're all here today, because there is still concern. And I'm sure that deep in your mind you still have concern about your own behavior. And I would like to hope that you'll get the help that you need.

HANLEY: Ray, should I be excommunicated from the church, is that the next step?

RAY: Hasn't that already happened? I would have liked to have thought it did.

HANLEY: I'll go to prison, I'll be excommunicated, I'll do anything that you want me to do, to prove to you that I'm sorry.

PAT KELLY: I'll drive you.

OTHER MALES: We'll all drive you.

FEMALE: Well, we would love that.

RAY: ... that I believe, and that ... If there was a way that we could do that, I'm sure that that would be happening ...

HANLEY: I'm willing to do that, Ray.

RAY: But you know as well as I do that at this moment ...

HANLEY: and so help me God I did not abuse all those men.

MALE: You did.

FEMALE: ...well, you abused twelve ...

LOU SERRANO: You raped and sodomized so many children ...

RAY: Whether it was one or twelve ...

HANLEY: What does sodomy mean, Lou?

LOU SERRANO: ... you murdered their childhoods. Put your finger down. You murdered their childhoods.

MARK SERRANO: Jim, do you have pornography in your home right now?

HANLEY: No, I don't.

MARK SERRANO: Do you use the Internet to contact children?

HANLEY: No, I don't.

MARK SERRANO: Do you have contact with children of your own, in your own family, minors? Do you have contact with minors in your own family ... that you're related to?

HANLEY: ... is now 38 years old.

MARK SERRANO: How about their children?

HANLEY: No, I don't have any contact with them I haven't seen them in 10 years.

MARK SERRANO: Do you have contact with any children at any time?

HANLEY: Where?

NBC REPORTER: In this neighborhood, there are children.

HANLEY: I only moved in here two weeks ago.

MARK SERRANO: At church.

NBC REPORTER: But why would you move into an area where there are children?

MALE: What about on Dey Street?

HANLEY: Tell me where I can move where there are not children.

MALE: Jail.

MALE: Retirement community.

HANLEY: And how can I afford that?

MALE: Just a suggestion.

HANLEY: Just a suggestion. Thank you very much. You're a big help.

NEWS 12 REPORTER: What are you saying right now? What do you think you need? Are you reaching out for help? Are you getting any help? What are you ...

HANLEY: ... years and years of therapy, honey ...

NEWS 12 REPORTER: What kind of therapy?

HANLEY: St. Luke's Institute in Maryland, the best that there is.

NEWS 12 REPORTER: Are you still getting help right now?

HANLEY: Yes, I am.

NEWS 2 REPORTER: What kind of help? Are you still there right now?

HANLEY: Still where?

NEWS 2 REPORTER: Are you still getting helped by St. Luke's right now?

HANLEY: No, I'm not. I'm seeking psychiatrical help. I had a lithium toxicity level of 1.9 and it damn near killed me a month ago, and now I'm on Depacot..

NEWS 12 REPORTER: Can you understand these people's reactions ...

HANLEY: Yes, I can ...

NEWS 12 REPORTER: But how can you come here with such anger ... understand their pain ...

HANLEY: I'm angry because I'm accused of abusing all these boys, and they're liars.

NEWS 12 REPORTER: ... one or one hundred ...

MALE: You admitted it before. Make up your mind.

MALE: You just admitted it to me, Hanley.

PAT SERRANO: How long were you in St. Luke's?

HANLEY: Six months.

PAT SERRANO: That's all.

HANLEY: Usually the evaluation is two weeks.

PAT SERRANO: What, in 1986, that's ...

HANLEY: That's right.

PAT SERRANO: ... a long time ago, Jim. That's a long time ago.

HANLEY: That's right. Twenty years ago, babe. Twenty years ago almost to the day.

PAT SERRANO: I'm not "babe." Don't you dare say that to me.

HANLEY: Don't you dare point your finger at me. Three fingers are pointing back at you.

PAT SERRANO: I can do anything to you.

MARK: This is the mother of your victims, okay? You used the priesthood ...

PAT SERRANO: I am a mother of boys who were abused by you.

HANLEY: You and your cronies did a very good job of duping the diocese, Mark Serrano.

MARK SERRANO: We told the truth. You used the priesthood ...

HANLEY: You duped the diocese. You robbed millions from the diocese.

PAT KELLY: We did, did we?

HANLEY: Not you, Pat.

MARK SERRANO: You're a liar. You're an alcoholic, a drug addict, ... your victims. You used the church and the priesthood to victimize children.

NBC REPORTER: Do you think you've done enough for what you did to these boys? Do you think that just saying sorry, that that's enough?

HANLEY: It's never enough, honey.

NBC REPORTER: What do you plan to do to make amends?

HANLEY: What more can I do?

NBC REPORTER: What have you done?

HANLEY: I said I'm sorry ...

MALE: Not good enough.

HANLEY: ... I've been laicized, what's next?

NBC REPORTER: But you're complaining about ...

HANLEY: My pension has been taken from me.

ABBOTT KOLOFF OF THE DAILY RECORD: You just were quoted as saying that you have a pension.

HANLEY: I don't have a pension. I have a stipend. They took my pension away from me. They took my car insurance away from me. My stipend? Twenty one hundred dollars a month. Priests are making three thousand one hundred. I'm missing a thousand dollars a month now, I'm living in virtual poverty, I have no rugs on my floor, I've got plywood in my floor.

NEWS 12 REPORTER: Where did you move from? Where did you move from?

HANLEY: 70 Dey Street in Paterson.

MALE: Better living than in prison

MALE: Why did you move?

HANLEY: Because I was living in a 10 by 20 room, facing a brick wall. Now, don't I deserve a little fresh air?

BOB HOATSON: It's better than the cell you should be living in.

HANLEY: Excuse me. What is your name, sir?

BOB HOATSON: I'm Fr. Bob Hoatson.

HANLEY: Nice to meet you, Bob.

ABBOTT KOLOFF: ... diocese ... you signed, you gave a statement ...

HANLEY: That's right.

KOLOFF: So are you saying that you lied in your statement, what are you saying?

HANLEY: After 20 years, Mr. Mullaney [Ken Mullaney, general counsel of the Paterson diocese] wanted to carry this thing to full trial, for God knows how long. I had no money for a lawyer, what else could I do? I wanted it out of my life. I've had seven nervous breakdowns ...

PAT SERRANO: So you lied again?

MALE: Four more than me.

PAT SERRANO: You lied again when you signed it.

HANLEY: If that's what it means, that I lied again, yes. I was under oath, yes. But in order to get it off my back and to put an end to it, so that you guys could have the money that you wanted, I said, yes I did.

MALE: We never got the money.

NEWS 12 REPORTER: Mr. Hanley, don't you agree that it was never about the money. These people clearly are in pain ...

HANLEY: Yes, they are in pain, and so am I.

NEWS 12 REPORTER: ... sisters ... family members who have suffered over the years, clearly. Don't you think these people need answers.

HANLEY: Of course they need answers. I'm trying to give them the answers.

NBC REPORTER: Why did you do this to them? Or to the 12 you admitted ...

REV. JAMES HANLEY: Did you read the Record today?

NBC REPORTER: But I'm not the Record, I'm NBC. Can you say that on the microphone?

HANLEY: I'm an alcoholic and a manic depressive. I suffered from diseases. I'm a psychotic, and a psychotic does strange things sometimes, you know.

MALE: That's why we're out here, to warn everybody about you, because you are a psychotic.

HANLEY: Be my guest.


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