The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that a former Staten Island priest was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a boy years ago in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA.
On Thursday, January 27, 2022, 73-year-old James Garisto was arrested following an investigation on the accusations he sexually abused a child in Philadelphia from 1995 until 2002. During the time of the abuse, the former priest lived in Fishtown. He is accused of sexually abusing the child over a hundred times, beginning when he was only ten years old. He is facing charges including endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, and indecent assault.
As reported by SNAP, Garisto served as a priest, teacher, and school administrator within the Archdiocese of New York, for over 40 years. While employed at St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School located at 5150 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10312, he was accused of abusing another man for abuse that took place between 1993 to 1998. The victim was 15 years old when the abuse began.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent provides compassionate and professional legal representation for victims sexually abused by priests, pastors, or other clergy members. As an experienced lawyer for sexual abuse at church, he recently shared some of the legal options available for victims of church sex abuse.
"The Catholic Church diocese has a legal obligation to uphold the safety of its congregation members and others that may come in contact with their clergy. Catholic schools share this same commitment to protecting their students. When sexual predators are found in positions of power and trust in churches or religious schools, they can easily exploit their victims. However, the exploitation of congregation members has been seen across many religious dominations, with numerous religious leaders being charged with sexual abuse. This creates a greater responsibility for these organizations to do their best to prevent predators from abusing members and students. They should conduct periodic background checks, install security cameras, and investigate any reports of misconduct. When a religious organization or school fails to implement a safety process, they can be held liable for their neglect."
"In many church sexual abuse cases, the abuse occurs due to the neglect of the religious organization. If active clergy members had sexual misconduct complaints filed against them, but the diocese or officials failed to follow up, they can be deemed negligent. Furthermore, in cases where the religious organization is found to be negligent, the sexual abuse victims may have reasonable grounds to pursue a lawsuit."