Diocese of Brooklyn

Brooklyn Diocese Removes Priest Following Probe of 1970s Sex Abuse Allegation

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More than a year after a New York City priest was accused of sexually abusing a minor, the Brooklyn Diocese has removed the 86-year-old from its ministry.

The removal of Rev. Peter Mahoney on Monday comes after the Diocesan Review Board, a panel of independent investigators, found sex abuse allegations against him to be credible. The alleged abuse took place between 1975 and 1978 while Mahoney was serving at St. Martin of Tours in Brooklyn but it only came to light in October 2020.

His name will now be added to the Brooklyn Diocese's list of credibly accused priests, officials said.

Mahoney had been ministering part-time to the Hispanic community at Saint Anne Catholic Church in Flushing, Queens, and St. Nicholas of Tolentine in Jamaica, Queens, prior to his removal, the Diocese said in a statement.

"It should be understood that such action by the Diocese is not to be interpreted as a judgment of the guilt of the priest. However, it is recognition of the possibility that wrongdoing may have taken place, and therefore, out of concern for the safety of the faithful, it was determined necessary to remove the priest from ministry," the statement continued.

Under New York state's Child Victims Act, another victim also accused Mahoney of abuse. The lawsuit was filed in April 2021.

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