Priest Accused of Abuse in New York Once Served in Columbus
By Danae King
August 23, 2019
A priest accused in a lawsuit of molesting an 8-year-old boy in New York City about 30 years ago once served in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus.
The Rev. Carleton Jones, a member of the Dominican Order, served at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Downtown, from 1992 to 1995, according to diocesan spokesman George Jones.
George Jones said the Columbus Diocese has no record of any complaints against Father Jones from his time in Columbus, but the Order of Dominican Friars Province of St. Joseph, which is based in New York, notified the diocese and St. Patrick about an allegation against him in October.
George Jones said the alleged abuse was announced at St. Patrick even though it took place outside the Columbus diocese, but it was later deemed not credible by the Province of St. Joseph.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in New York Supreme Court, alleges that Father Jones abused the 8-year-old boy at a New York City church while preparing him for his First Communion approximately 30 years ago.
“He was brought to the friar to help him learn, and when he was in private, horrible travesties happened,” said Evan Oshan, the plaintiff’s attorney.
The Dispatch is not naming the man because the newspaper doesn’t name potential victims of sexual abuse.
The Columbus diocese directed questions to the province, which did not return phone and email requests from The Dispatch for comment on Thursday and Friday.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) sent a news release about Father Jones, saying that Ohio Catholic officials should tell local residents about the allegation “for the safety of children and healing of survivors.”
The lawsuit names as defendants Father Jones, the Province of St. Joseph, and St. Catherine of Siena parish in New York City, where he served at the time. The suit alleges that the defendants were negligent in their duty to protect the child.
The plaintiff first reported in September 2018 that he had been abused years ago, Oshan said, but was able to file the lawsuit because New York state enacted a law giving sexual-assault victims a one-year window to file litigation.
The Columbus Diocese released a list of 34 priests accused of sexual abuse of minors in March and later added to it. There are now 40 names on the list.
For full coverage on sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese of Columbus, visit www.dispatch.com/catholicsecrecy.
Dispatch Librarian Julie Fulton contributed to this story.