SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. — A man who claims to have been abused by a priest as a child is suing the Catholic Church for negligence because, even after the abuse was reported, that priest was placed in charge of youth ministry activities.
Attorney Gregory Gianforcaro said he and his client, known only as Mr. X, met with the Archdiocese of Newark on Oct. 24, 2003, to detail allegations of sexual abuse by the Rev. Kevin Gugliotta.
Mr. X did not want money. He wanted Gugliotta to be kept away from kids.
Instead, Gugliotta was assigned to St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church, less than 2.5 miles from Mr. X’s home.
“I don’t understand what the problem is with this Catholic Church,” Gianforcaro said. “After the warning, he was made head of youth ministry.”
It took Gugliotta less than one year to meet his next alleged victim, Richard Roe.
Richard Roe is an alias. His real name has not been disclosed.
Roe was 11 years old in 2004, when he claims Gugliotta forced him to participate in oral sex, fondling and masturbation on trips and on church property.
His mother just found out a year ago. Roe is now 26.
“We were just both in shock and dismay over what happened,” she said.
Gugliotta was later transferred to a parish in Mahwah, New Jersey.
“The younger the victim is, the much harder it is for them to come forward,” said Mark Crawford, head of New Jersey Survivors of those Abused by Priests.
In 2016, Pennsylvania authorities charged Gugliotta with 20 unrelated counts of child pornography. He went to prison for less than two years. And now, he’s out.
“To other parents, be very vigilant,” Roe’s mother said.
Roe on Friday filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Church for negligence and fraud. Gianforcaro will also serve as his attorney.
“Kevin Gugliatta should have never, ever have been apart of my clients’ life,” he said.