Abuse Victims Pass Leaflets in South Amboy:
St. Mary's Parishioners Targeted

Associated Press, carried in Home News Tribune
June 28, 2004

MILWAUKEE -- Advocates for clergy sexual abuse victims leafleted yesterday outside Roman Catholic parishes in two states where an alleged abuser priest worked.

Last week, a New Jersey judge revoked bail for the Rev. Simon Palathingal, who is accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old Milwaukee boy in 1990 and 1991.

The bail was revoked because of concerns about an investigation in Louisiana and rumors that the priest's family in India might be able to post the $1.25 million bail before he could be extradited to Wisconsin.

Palathingal, 62, faces four charges of first-degree sexual assault of a child in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. He has been in jail awaiting a hearing since his arrest outside his church rectory in South Amboy, N.J., on June 3.

A criminal complaint said Nick Janovsky's uncle, the Rev. Dennis Pecore, introduced Janovsky as a boy to Palathingal at the priests' residence at Jordan House in Milwaukee, where Pecore was serving as coordinator for elderly priests and brothers.

Janovsky said Pecore already was sexually abusing him at the time and Palathingal also began abusing him, without his uncle's knowledge.

Pecore was convicted in 1987 of second-degree sexual assault for having sexual relations with a 15-year-old boy in 1984 and 1985. He was given one year of jail time, five years' probation and ordered not to have unsupervised contact with young males.

He was convicted again in 1994 on two counts of sexually assaulting Janovsky from 1989 to 1992, while he was on probation.

Police in Lake Charles, La. are now investigating a complaint that Palathingal engaged in "inappropriate behavior with a juvenile" when he worked at a parish there from March 2000 to June 2001, said Sgt. Mark Kraus, a department spokesman.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests handed out leaflets about Palathingal at the Mother of Good Counsel Church in Milwaukee and St. Mary's Parish in South Amboy Sunday, Milwaukee SNAP spokesman Peter Isely said.

Janovsky's attorney, Jim Smith, said church authorities knew of potential problems with the priests and said Janovsky, now 23 and living near Tampa, Fla., would not have met Palathingal if they had taken action.

Milwaukee Archdiocese spokeswoman Kathleen Hohl said Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba trusted the matter to officials at the residence and "also encouraged the individual who brought forth the complaints to contact civil authorities directly to ensure that his situation be investigated properly."

The Milwaukee County district attorney's office reopened the case this year after Janovsky contacted authorities seeking prosecution.


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