Media Contact:
Caitlan McCafferty, 215-340-0480 |

Attorney Contacts:
Brian Kent (m) 267-418-0775 |
Stewart Ryan (m) 484-301-0247 |

Sex crime victims’ lawyers file four lawsuits against Catholic Archdioceses and Dioceses in New Jersey for sexual abuse of children by clergy that occurred in PA, NY, and NJ

PHILADELPHIA (December 2, 2019) –Today, attorneys at Laffey, Bucci & Kent filed four lawsuits throughout New Jersey that seek to hold Catholic Archdioceses and Dioceses accountable for permitting, facilitating, and then covering up child sexual abuse by clergy. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of four survivors of childhood sexual abuse and will soon be followed by additional lawsuits by other survivors represented by the law firm.

The survivors are represented by sex crime victims’ attorneys Brian Kent and Stewart Ryan. The lawsuits were filed in Atlantic, Cape May, Middlesex, and Ocean Counties against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania and Metuchen, New Jersey, and the Christian Brothers. According to the lawsuits, survivors were abused by Father John. P. Paul, Reverend Joseph A. Rock, Father Michael Santillo, Reverend John P. Schmeer, and Father Francis X. Trauger. Paul, Rock, Schmeer, and Trauger all are still living.

Attorney Brian Kent said, “Today is extraordinarily important for survivors of childhood sexual abuse who before this new law had no opportunity to bring institutions such as the Catholic Church to justice. The Church has a demonstrated history of knowing about and covering up an epidemic of childhood sexual abuse by its priests and other employees. It is finally time for them to be held accountable for abuse that occurred in New Jersey parishes as well as for priests from other states who took children to New Jersey in order to sexually abuse them.”

Attorney Stewart Ryan said, “Powerful institutions like the Catholic Church have for far too long been more concerned with their image and bottom line than protecting children. We are proud to represent so many survivors who are ready to stand up and say enough is enough. Statute of limitations reform in sexual abuse cases is critical. The public will finally learn the true extent of institutional sexual abuse and the cover ups that often follow.”

All of the predator priests named in the lawsuits are listed by their respective Archdioceses or Dioceses as having been credibly accused of childhood sexual abuse. All of the predator priests have multiple accusers. Several of the predator priests have also been named in Grand Jury reports investigating the rampant history of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and the cover-up by the Church that ensued. Several of the predator priests named in the lawsuits are accused of taking children from Pennsylvania into the state of New Jersey, including the Jersey shore, in order to sexually abuse them.

Traguer was charged recently by Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub with indecent assault stemming from reports of two other survivors who alleged they were sexually abused by Trauger when they were children in Bucks County. The alleged crimes took place at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Levittown, Pennsylvania.

All survivors of sexual assault and those with information about these predator priests are encouraged to contact Laffey, Bucci & Kent’s sex crime victims’ hotline. Call 855-382-3385 to reach a sex crime victims’ attorney and begin the path to healing. Attorneys Brian Kent and Stewart Ryan also can be contacted by email at and

Diocese of Allentown Complaint
Diocese of Metuchen Complaint
Father John Paul Complaint
Trauger Schmeer Complaint

Laffey, Bucci & Kent, LLP is a personal injury law firm representing individuals seriously injured due to the negligence of others. The firm represents people who have been catastrophically injured in construction accidents and at work, in auto accidents and as a result of defective products. The Philadelphia lawyers also have a long history of representing sexual assault, sexual abuse and crime victims in civil actions. For more information, go to

# # #