A priest who died decades ago has been accused of sexually abusing a boy while serving in a Westfield parish, TAPintoWestfield reported.
A lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Newark filed Sunday claims the Rev. John Flanagan abused the boy -- who is now 75 and living in Canada -- over the course of a decade while serving at Holy Trinity church in the 1950s and '60s. The church is also a defendant in the suit.
The lawsuit was filed following passage of a state law creating a two-year window during which plaintiffs can sue regardless of when the abuse is alleged to have taken place.
The lawsuit claims Flanagan sexually abused Dennis Thome beginning when he was seven years old. Flanagan, who died in 1975, also abused other children but all the instances were covered up, the lawsuit also states.
Flanagan also served as pastor of Our Lady of All Souls in East Orange. He also taught at St. Peter's Prep and served at St. Francis Hospital, both in Jersey City.
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