Pedophile Priest from Jersey City Faces Similiar Charges 30 Years Later in Missouri

By Ron Zeitlinger
The Jersey Journal
December 2, 2013

Gerald Howard is seen in three photos, as Rev. Carmine Sita, left, in 1976, as an inmate in Essex County in 2010, center, and as an inmate in Missouri in 2012.

A former St. Aloysius priest who sexually molested a 17-year-old boy in the early 1980s appears headed for trial in Missouri on similar charges, according to a published report.

Gerald “Gerry” Howard, whose name was Carmine Sita when he was a priest at St. Aloysius in Jersey City, is seeking a non-jury trial that could begin after the start of the new year, reported.

In 1982 Sita pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor in Jersey City. In January 1983, Sita was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to undergo treatment.

After getting treatment in New Mexico, Sita legally changed his name and joined Ss. Peter and Paul in Boonville, Mo. Authorities say he sexually assaulted three minors there between 1984 and 1987.

In 2009, a Virginia man who accused Howard of abuse received a $600,000 settlement from church officials in Jefferson City and Newark, New Jersey.

In 2010, Howard was arrested in Bloomfield and he was returned to Missouri, where he has been jailed ever since.

He is charged with three counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of attempted forcible sodomy and two counts of kidnapping.

“We welcome this move,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

“We have tremendous confidence in the three brave men who have reported being abused by Gerry Howard in Boonville. We hope that the judge also lets into evidence Howard’s guilty plea in New Jersey.

“We strongly urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Howard’s crimes to come forward,” Clohessy said. “Police and prosecutors can never have too much evidence or too many witnesses in a clergy sex abuse trial.

"Pedophile priests typically get top notch lawyers and exploit technicalities, often escaping responsibility for their crimes or getting little or no jail time if they are convicted.”


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