More Accuse Priest
4 Others Hurt, Says Victim Whose Case Drew $600G

By Michaelangelo Conte
Jersey Journal
August 25, 2009

NEWARK - News of a settlement between a man sexually abused by a former Jersey City priest has prompted four more alleged victims to come forward, including two from Jersey City, according to David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Word of the new allegations came yesterday when the man molested in Missouri by the Rev. Carmine Sita, now known as the Rev. Gerald "Gerry" Howard, spoke out for the first time about being abused.

Dr. Mark McAllister has reached a $600,000 settlement with Catholic dioceses in Newark and in Missouri, as well as a New Mexico counseling center where the former St. Aloysius Parish priest was sent after he was found to be molesting a teen in Jersey City in the early 1980s.

At a news conference outside Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark yesterday morning, which was followed later in the day by a news conference outside St. Aloysius, McAllister said he once met that 17-year-old victim.

"I met him in person and my impression of (name omitted) was that he was tragically addicted to illegal drugs," McAllister said. "He looked like he was in a downward spiral."

McAllister, who is now working with SNAP, said more victims of Sita have come forward as a result of publicity about his settlement, and Clohessy confirmed that two said they were abused in Jersey City and the other two in Missouri.

No legal actions have been taken and while the men have reached out to SNAP, they haven't spoken publicly.

"When they're ready to come forward, they will have to do it in their own time," said Mark Crawford, state director for SNAP. "If they're willing to come forward and speak, they will when they're ready."

Archdiocese of Newark spokesman James Goodness said the church hasn't been notified of new cases concerning Sita.

"Certainly if there are other allegations we want to hear from them and they should call our Victims' Assistance coordinator and we will report that information immediately to the Hudson County prosecutor," Goodness said.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.