Former Pearl River Priest Removed from Ministry over Sex Abuse Allegations

By Lanning Taliaferro
The Patch
September 27, 2016

Timothy Cardinal Dolan has permanently removed Monsignor John O'Keefe, who had been the priest at St. Margaret of Antioch, from the ministry, the New York Daily News reports.

However, the lawyer for O'Keefe's alleged victim told the paper that he was concerned that the archdiocese has not shared its findings with the public because it could put more children at risk.

The lawyer is Mitchell Garabedian, whose work on behalf of the victims of priest sex abuse was portrayed in the award-winning movie "Spotlight." Garabedian told the Daily News that the archdiocese let him know in August that O'Keefe had been permanently removed from his duties.

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O’Keefe, 71, former head of Stepinac High School in White Plains, was accused in 2015 of sex abuse of a minor 30 years before. Dolan told the St. Margaret parish about it in December 2015, in a letter describing the charges and explaining the process.

Dolan said in the letter that the archdiocese received an allegation O’Keefe had abused a minor on two occasions; and that the allegation was shared with the Rockland and Bronx county district attorneys and forwarded to the district attorney in Virginia, where one of the incidents is alleged to have taken place. Their determination was that the allegations were credible, and so the archdiocese put its policy into effect.

Garabedian is the attorney for other local victims alleging sex abuse by priests. He represented seven of 21 victims who settled sex abuse cases in August with Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, New Jersey for $1.9 million.

Those victims were allegedly abused between 1963 and 1978 by 10 Irish Christian Brothers and one lay teacher at the high school, Robert Hoatson, the president of Road to Recovery Inc., which assists victims of sexual abuse, told Patch.








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