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Assignment Record– Rev. Robert Yurgel, OFM.Cap

Summary of Case: Robert Yurgel was ordained for the Capuchin Franciscan Friars of the Province of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis in 1996. He was assigned in 1997 to the Diocese of Charlotte NC, where he worked in several area parishes. In October 1999 he was transferred out of the diocese, returning briefly to his order in New York, then assigned to the Diocese of Paterson NJ. He resided at a Passaic parish while working as a hospital chaplain. He occasionally said mass in Hackensack.

In 2008 a 23-year-old man reported to the Charlotte-Meckenburg police that Yurgel sexually abused him beginning in 1999 when he was a 14-year-old altar boy at St. Matthew's in Charlotte, and Yurgel was an assistant priest. The young man said the abuse occurred at St. Matthew's, at Our Lady of Consolation where Yurgel was next assigned, in a car in the parking lot of St. Michael's in Gastonia where Yurgel sometimes presided over a Spanish mass, and at the boy's home when his parents were out. Yurgel was arrested in NJ and extradited to NC; he pleaded guilty and was sentenced in February 2009 to at least seven years and eight months in prison, and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Yurgel's victim sued the Charlotte diocese and Capuchin Franciscans in 2008, claiming they covered up his case, and that the diocese knew of sexual misconduct by Yurgel in 1999. The diocese and order settled with the man in 2010.


Ordained
: 1996


   

Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State Position Notes

Jan. 1992

Diocese of Charlotte

Bishop was John Francis Donoghue (1984-1993).

June 1992 Catholic Conference Center Hickory NC novice  

July 1992

Diocese of Wilmington

Bishop was Robert Edward Mulvee (1985-1995).

July 1993 St. Felix Friary Wilmington DE spiritual formation work  

Aug. 1993

Diocese of Paterson

Bishop was Frank Joseph Rodimer (1977-2004).

June 1996 Our Lady of Lourdes Friary Paterson NJ studies  

1996

Archdiocese of New York

Archbishop was John Joseph O'Connor (1984-2000).

1997 Immaculate Conception Friary New York (Bronx) NY studies

 

May 1997

Diocese of Charlotte

Bishop was William George Curlin (1994-2002).

June 1999 St. Matthew's

Charlotte (Ballantyne)

Yurgel was accused in 2008 of sexually abusing a 14-year-old altar boy in 1999. He and his family attended St. Matthew's.

NC 3/3, 2/2

St. Matthew's had a CCD program with 1,510 - 1,514 students.

Yurgel helped start a parish youth group.

Yurgel pleaded guilty to a second-degree sex offense in February 2009 in a deal with the judge.

July 1997 Oct. 1999 Our Lady of Consolation

Charlotte

Yurgel's victim from St. Matthew's said the abuse occurred at St. Matthew's and at Our Lady of Consolation. He said Yurgel also abused him at his family's home when his parents were away.

NC NC This assignment is per news reports, which said Yurgel was at this parish for three months before being transferred out of the area.
    St. Michael's

Gastonia

Yurgel's St. Matthew's victim said some of the abuse occurred in a car in St. Michael's parking lot.

NC   Yurgel occasionally presided over Spanish mass at St . Michael's.

1999

Archdiocese of New York

O'Connor was succeeded as archbishop by Edward Michael Egan (2000-2009).

2001 Immaculate Conception Friary New York NY  

Yurgel's victim filed a civil suit in October 2008 against the Capuchin Franciscans and the Charlotte diocese, claiming they covered up his abuse case. Per the suit, the diocese knew by 1999 of sexual misconduct by Yurgel with an adult male parishioner, and that in October 1999 diocesan officials found a personal email from the plaintiff to Yurgel. The diocese was said to have contacted Yurgel's order, and Yurgel was quickly transferred out of the diocese.

2001

Diocese of Paterson

Bishop was Frank Joseph Rodimer (1977-2004).

2003 Our Lady of Lourdes Paterson NJ 2/2 Our Lady of Lourdes had a school with 240 students, and a CCD program with 56 students.

2003

Archdiocese of New York

Archbishop was Edward Michael Egan (2000-2009).

2005 Immaculate Conception Friary New York NY    

2005

Diocese of Paterson

Bishop was Arthur Joseph Serratelli (2004-).

2008 St. Mary's Hospital Passaic NJ chaplain Per news reports, Yurgel's order said he was assigned to St. Mary's Hospital in October 1999. The Directories don't show him as there until 2005.
    St. Francis Hackensack NJ   Yurgel occasionally said mass at St. Francis.
2006 2008 Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Passaic NJ 3/4

In residence.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel had a school with 338-319 students, and a CCD program with 76-65 students.

Yurgel was arrested in April 2008 after Charlotte-Meckenburg NC police received a report from a 23-year-old man that the priest sexually abused him in 1999 when the young man was a 14-year-old parishioner of St. Matthew's. Yurgel was charged with five counts of indecent liberties with a child over 6 and two charges of statutory rape of a child over 6.

Yurgel was extradited from NJ to NC. After pleading guilty, he was sentenced in February 2009 to at least seven years and eight months in prison. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender.

2008

Archdiocese of New York

Archbishop was Edward Michael Egan (2000-2009).

2009 Immaculate Conception Friary New York (Bronx) NY  

Yurgel is not indexed beyond the 2009 Directory.

The 2008 civil suit was settled by the Charlotte diocese in May 2010 for $1 million. Additionally, the Capuchins agreed to give the plaintiff $230 thousand in exchange for dismissal with prejudice of claims against it.

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy & Sons, 1997-2009).

Former Charlotte Priest Arrested on Sex Charge, By Gary Wright and Tim Funk, Charlotte Observer, April 2, 2008
Priest Charged with Sex Crimes in Charlotte, By Gary Wright and Tim Funk, Charlotte Observer, April 3, 2008
Priest Charged with Raping Child, By Karen Keller and Meredith Mandell, The Record, April 3, 2008
Former Charlotte Priest Faces Sex Charges, By Tony Burbeck, WSOC, April 3, 2008
Priest's Case Will Be Topic at Churches, By Tim Funk, Charlotte Observer, April 4, 2008
• Accused Priest Close to Family, Lawyer Says, By Tim Funk and Gary L. Wright, Charlotte Observer, April 7, 2008
Priest Facing Sex Charges on Way to Mecklenburg Jail, By Maria Kotula, WCNC, April 11, 2008
Accused Priest in Mecklenburg Jail, Charlotte Observer, April 13, 2008
Accused Priest Appears in Court, By Tim Funk and Gary L. Wright, Charlotte Observer, April 16, 2008
• Ex-Chaplain's Sex Arrest Raises Local Fears, By John Chadwick, The Record, September 15, 2008
Former Altar Boy Sues Diocese over Priest Sex Abuse, By Tim Funk, Charlotte Observer, October 15, 2008
• Doe v Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte NC, Superior Court, Mecklenburg Co Cause No 08-CVS-23161, 10.15.08
New Accusations of Sex Crimes Cover-up, WCCB, October 17, 2008
• Victims SNAP into Action When the Church Won't, By Jeff Diamant, Star-Ledger, December 14, 2008
• Priest Expected to Admit Abuse, By Gary L. Wright, Charlotte Observer, February 2, 2009
Priest Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse; Is Sentenced to Prison, By Tim Funk and Gary Wright, Charlotte Observer, February 2, 2009
Charlotte Priest Pleads Guilty to Sex Crimes, WSOC, February 2, 2009
Lawsuit against Local Diocese Is Next for Victim, By Tim Funk, Charlotte Observer, February 3, 2009
'You Are a Liar, a Thief of Childhoods and a Child Molester.', Charlotte Observer, February 3, 2009
Molesters Should Pay Steep Price for ‘thefts‘, Charlotte Observer, February 9, 2009
Judge Upholds Part of Lawsuit against Church, By Cameron Steele, Charlotte Observer, June 23, 2009
Charlotte Diocese Pays $1 Million to Sex Abuse Victim, By Gary Wright, News Observer, May 8, 2010
$1.23M Settlement Latest Success for Attorney Aiding Sex Abuse Victims, By Paul Tharp, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly July 1, 2010

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Yurgel's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegations against him, as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on January 15, 2017.


 
 

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