Lawsuit Stunner: Bx. Priests Used Teen As Sex Toy

By Douglas Montero
New York Post
June 23, 2001

A Park Avenue lawyer stunned residents of the Tremont section of The Bronx by accusing four priests from the local Catholic parish of sexually abusing a teenager.

Lawyer Laurence M. Deutsch told 20 residents at a community council meeting on Tuesday that four priests from St. Simon Stock Church on Valentine Avenue, all of whom have been transferred, used his client as a sex toy several years ago when he was a teenager.

He also accused the parish and the Archdiocese of New York of covering it up, an act "regarded by this young man and his family as an insult added to injury."

Deutsch then asked the community for help in finding other victims who may not have come forward. A lawsuit filed in Bronx Supreme Court in March 2000 charges:

* Between January 1996 and August 1998, the teen was given cash in exchange for sexual favors while he worked as a secretary at the church rectory, a job his father got him so he wouldn't stray.

* "A group of predatory, pedophile priests" led by the Rev. Ruben Rodriguez, the pastor, used alcohol and gay child pornography to "groom" and individually seduce the teenager.

* The teen witnessed Rodriguez and two other priests, the Rev. Esteban Rodriguez (no relation) and the Rev. John Albino, participating in "group masturbation."

* Esteban Rodriguez and the Rev. James Tamburrino on separate occasions threatened to harm the teen if he exposed their sexual escapades. Tamburrino "became involved in a physical altercation" with the youth to intimidate him.

* The alleged victim, now 21, began getting anonymous harassing telephone calls. Fearing for his life, he moved out of the state and is seeing a psychiatrist.

* Two of the priests, Ruben Rodriguez and Tamburrino have a history of sexual misconduct.

* When the boy and his family confronted church leaders in 1999, the archdiocese and the Carmelite Friars, who run the parish, tried to get them to sign a release.

Lawyers Frank Bastone and Peter Hoenig, who represent the archdiocese and the Carmelite Friars, declined to comment. But in court papers, lawyers deny the charges.


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