Upper West Side priest steps down amid sexual abuse allegations

By Michael Gartland
Daily News
July 2, 2019

Msgr. John Paddack has been accused of sexually abusing a number of boys.

A priest at an Upper West Side church is stepping down amid accusations that he sexually abused a number of children, a New York Archdiocese spokesman said.

Eight accusers have claimed they are victims of Monsignor John Paddack, who on Tuesday told parishioners at the Church of Notre Dame on W. 114th St. that he will be resigning his post there.

“Msgr. Paddack has written to his parishioners to tell them that, although he denies the allegations against him, for the good of the parish and the people, he has decided to step aside while the investigation into the allegation proceeds,” Archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwilling told the Daily News.

Paddack’s accusers claim he abused them at various postings throughout the city, including Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, St. Joseph by the Sea High School on Staten Island and the Church of the Incarnation in Upper Manhattan.

One of them, Rafael Mendoza, a freshman at Cardinal Hayes in 1996, accused Paddack of having him take off his clothes, grabbing his genitals and examining him with a stethoscope.

“I remember the coldness when he was checking my heartbeat.” Mendoza said in March when he first went public with the allegations.

“Paddack should have been removed from his post a long time ago," Mendoza’s attorney, Michelle Simpson Tuegel, said on Tuesday. “It should not have required the bravery of multiple survivors to come forward publicly for the Church to take this action."

Paddack has denied the allegations.

“Nothing happened, believe me,” Paddack told The News in March. “I have a 50-year record of teaching. And it’s a good record, believe me. I think they’re seeing the advertisements on television and in the paper, and a chance to make money. Very sad, and it could ruin a reputation.”


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