A Catholic priest currently working in Waterbury is out on administrative leave after an allegation surfaced involving the sexual abuse of a minor.
The claim comes more than 20 years later and from the priest’s time in New Haven at a facility that no longer exists.
Father Dr. Jeremiah Murasso of the Blessed Sacrament Church and the Shrine of St. Anne was serving mass up until a few weeks ago.
According to the Archdiocese of Hartford, Murasso is accused of sexually abusing a minor more than 20 years ago in New Haven.
However, many people said they don’t believe the allegations.
“From the person I know, I don't think it could be true,” said Pasquale Musco, who is a parishioner. "He does have full support of the church, and a lot of people in this city."
The Archdiocese hasn’t released any further details except to say that the allegation surfaced from the priest’s time at the St. Francis Home for Children, which no longer exists.
Those who attend Murasso’s services said they support him.
Murasso has multiple masters degrees and a doctorate in psychology, according to the Graduate Theological Foundation website.
The site also said Murasso served as CEO of St. Francis, updating and revising the once residential day facility for sexually abused and emotionally disturbed kids ages 5 to 18.
“If guilty, incarcerated most definitely, but what if he's innocent. Someone works for 20 to 30 years of their life and accusations are false and it destroys the guy's career and goes down the drain,” said Rev. Ronald Morales who lives across the street from Blessed Sacrament.
In a statement, The Archdiocese of Hartford said it “condemns the type of misconduct that has been alleged. It encourages anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse as a minor by any personnel of the Archdiocese, to contact civil authorities (the State Department of Children and Families and/or the local police) and the Victims Assistance Coordinator of the Archdiocese at: 860-541-6475." - Archdiocese of Hartford.”
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