Former Student Accuses Nun Of Sex Abuse At Holy Cross School
By Tom Davis
January 8, 2020
The accuser says she was sexually abused by a nun while in first grade at the NJ school. The school ignored her complaints, she said.
RUMSON – A former student of a Catholic school in New Jersey says she was sexually abused by a nun while she was in first grade, according to a lawsuit filed in state Superior Court.
Holy Cross School in Rumson, Holy Cross Parish and the Diocese of Trenton were named as defendants.
The woman, a Cliffside Park resident, said she was abused by Sister Mary Nazareen while she was a teacher at Holy Cross School during the 1960s, according to the lawsuit.
The student was enrolled at Holy Cross from kindergarten until seventh grade, and Nazareen used her position as a teacher to gain her confidence, according to the lawsuit.
Nazareen ultimately engaged in improper sexual sexual contact with the student while she was in first grade.
The teacher engaged in improper sex acts, sexual assault, sexual contact and sexual abuse of the student, causing the woman to experience severe and permanent personal and emotional injuries, the lawsuit says.
The school, parish and diocese failed to exercise care in supervising the sister in her role and failed to take any action to investigate, the lawsuit states.
Diocese of Trenton spokeswoman Rayanne Bennett told The Asbury Park Press in an email: "The Diocese only recently learned of the allegation ... It is being reported to the Attorney General's Office and the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office in keeping with our policy."
The suit comes a month after a New Jersey law took effect on Dec. 1 law extending the statute of limitations in civil actions for sexual abuse claims, and creating a two-year window to file cases for which the statute of limitations had previously expired.
The legislation comes after nearly 200 names on a list of sex offenders in the clergy were named by the Catholic church last year. Here is the list released by the Catholic church in February: Here's List Of NJ Priests Accused Of Child Sexual Abuse (UPDATED)
In April 2019, 52 Boy Scout leaders who worked in New Jersey and were accused of sexual abuse were named by attorneys who represent victims. Read more: 52 NJ Boy Scout Leaders Accused Of Sexual Abuse Named
Then, in May 2019, the names of more than 100 additional priests and members of the clergy were also released in a new disclosure. Read more: Another 100 NJ Priests, Clergy Accused Of Sex Abuse In Disclosure