CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Catholic Diocese of Charleston says a lawsuit filed in New York names Bishop Robert Guglielmone and accuses him of sexually abusing a minor.
The lawsuit was filed in state court in Nassau County, New York, according to diocese spokesperson Maria Aselage. In the suit, an alleged victim accused Guglielmone of sexually abusing him during 1978 and 1979 while Guglielmone served as a priest at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Amityville, New York.
Attorneys Bruce Barket and Aida Leisenring, who are representing Guglielmone, released a statement through the diocese:
“These allegations are false, provably false. As the plaintiff admitted to a family member, he made this up in order to get money from the Church (“it’s worth a try,” the plaintiff said). Bishop Guglielmone is a good man who has devoted his entire career to the church, education, and community service. Although he was under no obligation to do so, he submitted himself to a polygraph examination, which he passed. We will not allow these false allegations to tarnish the outstanding and selfless work he has done throughout his life. We will see the plaintiff in Court and the Bishop will be cleared.”
Guglielmone himself also released a statement on the lawsuit:
“I understand that this individual filed a lawsuit against me today. The allegations are false. I engaged in no wrongdoing. I look forward to being vindicated in Court, and will refer specific questions about my defense to my attorneys, Bruce Barket and Aida Leisenring at Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP.”