According to North Jersey News, a Newark Archdiocese priest has been accused of sexual assault at various locations.
Gugliotta has been accused of sexual assault in three different lawsuits. Additionally, he has been accused of abusing two boys at St. Bartholomew the Apostle parish, where he worked for years. Court documents stated Gugliotta was in charge of youth ministry at St. Bartholomew.
The most recent lawsuit alleges that he abused a 9-year-old altar boy in 2006 at St. Bartholomew. Another man accuses Gugliotta of sexual abuse at the same church in the 2000s.
The Newark Archdiocese hired Gugliotta despite allegations of sexual abuse in 2003. The parish claimed they had no authority to punish him because he was not a priest at the time of the alleged abuse of his first abuse in the 1980s.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent, an experienced sexual abuse lawyer, licensed in New Jersey, has represented numerous victims of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. In an interview, we asked Brian to share insight on the legal rights of victims abused sexually by a priest.
“Churches and religious organizations have a legal obligation to uphold the safety of its congregation members. Unfortunately, sexual predators often use their positions of trust and power in churches to exploit victims. Sadly, this exploitation has been seen across all religious organizations in the United States. Numerous religious leaders across the country have been accused of sexually abusing congregation members, including children. Churches must do their best to provide a safe environment to all members and stop predators from working in their organizations.”
“Victims and their families should know in addition to filing charges against a priest that they may have grounds for a civil lawsuit against a parish. A parish may be considered liable for not upholding the safety of its members if they are deemed negligent in abuse. In some cases, sexual abuse only occurs due to the negligence of a third party, such as a religious organization. One example of negligence is if prior allegations were made against a priest, but the allegations were ignored or improperly investigated. In negligence cases, victims and their families may receive financial compensation for damages accrued.”