Priest With Ties to Hudson Valley Church Arrested For Sexual Abuse of a Minor
A priest with ties to a church in Poughkeepsie and a 40-year history of working in the church and schools has been arrested on several charges involving children.
73-year-old Reverend James Garisto was arrested on January 27, 2022, with charges of endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, and indecent assault.
At the time of his arrest, Reverend Garisto's residence was in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, however, for a number of years he served St. Peter's Parish in Poughkeepsie, in addition to other New York parishes. According to Catholic New York, Garisto was with St. Peter's from 1998 to 2014.
This is not the first accusation against Garisto, as in 2015 he was 'abruptly removed as pastor of St. Adalbert-St. Rich parish in Staten Island,' the details of said departure not released by the Archdiocese of New York. According to SNAP, which is an independent peer network of survivors of institutional sexual abuse and their supporters:
Catholic officials frequently assert that they have concern for victims and yet refuse to release information that would help survivors heal and inform the public about dangerous men. On leave from the Archdiocese of New York since August of 2019, Garisto faces legal action in New York. This new allegation marks the third time that Garisto has been accused of sexual assault and we believe that there may be many more victims.
SNAP shared that in 2021, Garisto was identified by Ryan Barry, a husband, and father who now lives in Pennsylvania, as his abuser. Barry outlined the details of the abuse he suffered from the clergyman and accused Garisto, who was at the time a pastor, teacher, and school official at St. Joseph-by-the-Sea High School, of abuse that began in the 1990s, when Barry was a teenager.
Since his arrest, Garisto was released from police custody after posting 10% of his $75,000 bail and is set for a preliminary hearing in the Municipal County of Philadelphia County.
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