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Diocese of Syracuse Priest Arrested on Sex Abuse Charges Against a Minor

By Thomas P. Giuffra

The priest sex abuse scandal is not over for one embattled diocese in New York. The Diocese of Syracuse is facing another one of its priests accused of sexually abusing a minor. And this time, it’s not something that occurred decades ago. Law enforcement authorities claim that Brooks abused the child between 2019 and 2022.

Father Nathan Brooks, 36, faces several misdemeanor charges filed Aug. 31 in Cortland County Court in central New York. These include endangering the welfare of a child, forcible touching, and sexual abuse in the third degree.

The Diocese of Syracuse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020, after 38 people filed lawsuits against the diocese alleging sexual abuse by priests. The lawsuits came a year after the diocese released a list of 57 sexually abusive priests, including 38 who had died.

The Cortland County Sheriff’s Office received the allegations on Aug. 22. The sexual abuse allegedly occurred on multiple occasions between 2019 and 2022 in the town of Homer and the city of Cortland. The victim was known to Brooks, WIVT/WBGH News reported.

The Diocese of Syracuse suspended Father Brooks while the case is active. Brooks was ordained a priest in 2019. If the allegations are accurate in terms of the timeline, Brooks would have begun abusing the child shortly after his ordination to the priesthood. This calls into question the screening process of the Diocese for candidates to the priesthood as well as the training program at the seminary which he attended prior to ordination.

If you or a loved one were abused by a priest or a person in a position of trust, please contact me for a free initial consultation.

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