Rev. Simon Palathingal, S.D.B.

Summary of Case: Palathingal, a Salesian of Don Bosco, was ordained in India and sent to the United States sometime before 1991. He was accused in 1993 of sexually abusing a nine year-old Milwaukee boy from 1990-1991. Prosecutors dropped the charges. There was another allegation from his time in Louisiana in 2000-2001, but charges were dropped when the young accuser's parents refused to meet with authorities. In 2004 the Milwaukee boy, then 23 years old and realizing that Palathingal was free and not in prison, contacted Milwaukee police to report the 1990-1991 sexual assaults. Palathingal was arrested, pled guilty and in Nov. 2004 he was sentenced to 16 years in prison. He was to be eligible for parole after 4 years.


   

Start Stop Parish Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes

1970s

Salesian's Bangalore Province

1980s Boys School Chennai, Tamil Nadu India Vice-principal Palathingal was ordained in India, and is said to have been vice-principal of a prominent boys' school in Chennai.

 

Milwaukee archbishop was Rembert George Weakland, O.S.B. (1977-2002)

late 1991 Jordan House

Milwaukee

• Palathingal sexually abused a 9 year-old boy from the summer of 1990 to the summer of 1991 while living here.

WI graduate student in journalism at Marquette University Jordan House was a residence for elderly Salvatorian priests and brothers.

The boy's uncle, Rev. Dennis Pecore, s.d.s., who was a convicted pedophile on parole and coordinator of Jordan House, found Palathingal in bed with the boy in 1991. Pecore confronted Palathingal. Pecore was later convicted of sexually abusing the same boy, from 1989-1992.
  late 1991 Mother of Good Counsel Milwaukee WI   This parish was near Jordan House. A parishioner warned Bishop Sklba that boys were seen coming and going from Jordan House. Sklba's response was that he had discussed the issue with Pecore-who was a already a convicted sex offender-and was satisfied when Pecore told him there was not a problem.
late 1991 1993     India  

Palathingal went to India for a short while after his sexually abusive behavior was reported to authorities. While there he sent letters to the boy he had abused in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee District Attorney was told of the allegations against Palathingal in 1993, but they decided not to prosecute. Palathingal returned to the U.S. when charges were dropped.

1993 March 2000     U.S.   Palathingal returned to the U.S., living and working in several states.

March 2000

Lake Charles bishop was Jude Speyrer (1980-2000), followed by Edward Kenneth Braxton (2000-2005)

June 2001 Our Lady Queen of Heaven

Lake Charles

• Palathingal was accused of "inappropriate behavior with a juvenile" while at this parish.

LA    

Dec. 2001

Metuchen bishop was Vincent DePaul Breen (1997-2002), succeeded by Paul Gregory Bootkoski (2002-)

  St. Bernadette's Parlin NJ   Palathingal was invited by a priest to help at this parish during the Christmas season.
Dec. 2001 June 2004 St. Mary's South Amboy NJ  

The Lake Charles diocese dropped their investigation of Palathingal in 2002 when the accuser's parents would not meet with authorities.

Palathingal left St. Mary's for India after the Louisiana allegations surfaced in July 2002, but returned in Sept. 2002 when the charges were dropped.

In 2004 the Milwaukee boy abused by Palathingal in 1990-1991 reported the crimes to police. He explained that since Palathingal had been reported to authorities in 1993, he had always thought the priest was in jail.

Palathingal was arrested outside his NJ rectory in June 2004 by detectives from the Milwaukee Police Department, and charged with having sexually assaulted the 9 year old Milwaukee boy in 1990-1991. Palathingal told the police that the boy had been "100 percent" the aggressor, and that he (the priest) gave in.

Palathingal pled guilty in Sept. 2004 to sexual assault of a child. He received two 16 year prison sentences, to be served concurrently, and was to be eligible for parole after 4 years.

 

Sources:

Priest Faces Four Counts in Sex Assault of Child, Journal Sentinel Online, June 4, 2004
Salesian Priest Arrested in New Jersey Abuse Allegedly Took Place in Milwaukee, By Sam Lucero, Catholic Herald, June 10, 2004
No Bail Allowed for Priest Accused of Abuse, Journal Sentinel Online, June 27, 2004
Abuse Victims Pass Leaflets in South Amboy, Associated Press, carried in Home News Tribune, June 28, 2004
The Church's Sorry Record, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 6, 2004
Priest to Face Abuse Charges in Wisconsin, By Jim O'Neill, Star-Ledger, July 7, 2004
Priest to Plead Guilty in Sex Case, Journal Sentinel Online, August 4, 2004
Diocese to Scrutinze Transferred Clergy, Star-Ledger [Metuchen NJ],August 11, 2004
Priest Plans to Admit Guilt in Sexual Assault of Boy, Home News Tribune [Wisconsin], August 11, 2004
Priest Blames Minor for Inciting Sex, India Abroad, August 20, 2004
Former Milwaukee Priest Pleads Guilty to Sexual Assault, TheMilwaukeeChannel.com [Milwaukee WI], September 15, 2004
Middlesex Priest Admits Sex Crimes in Wisconsin, By Jeff Diamant, Star-Ledger [New Jersey], September 16, 2004
Priest Gets 16 Years for Sexual Assault of Boy, By Derrick Nunnally, Journal Sentinel Online, November 9, 2004
The Rev. Simon Palathingal Justice Delayed, Dallas Morning News, December 5, 2004



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This assignment record collates Palathingal's career history as it is represented with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation 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 June 16, 2011


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