Former priest accused of abusing boys shot, killed

A former priest accused of sexually molesting dozens of boys in the 1970s and ’80s has been found shot dead at his Nevada home.

Police are treating the death of John Capparelli, who was 70, as a homicide. According to the coroner’s office the former priest had been shot in the neck.

Although police say a suspect has not yet been identified, they are “following up on developed leads”.

Last month Capparelli’s name was listed among 188 priests the Archdiocese of Newark said had been “credibly accused” of sexual crimes against children. Over 100 of those named are dead.

According to the archdiocese’s list, Capparelli had multiple victims and had been “permanently removed from ministry/laicised”.

Accusations against him date from the 1970s through to the early 1990s. He was removed from parish ministry in 1989, suspended from ministry in 1992, and was dismissed from the clerical state around 2013.

After being removed from Catholic ministry, he worked as a maths teacher at a Newark public high school.

New Jersey’s Star-Ledger newspaper, which has reported extensively on the abuse allegations against Capparelli, says “as a sideline” he operated from his home a fetish website that featured men wrestling.

He had his teaching certificate removed in 2011 after the abuse allegations were revealed by the newspaper. He moved to Nevada in 2016.

“The world is a safer place without him,” one of his accusers said after hearing the news of his death.

“The guy had a 40-year record of abuse. Whatever led to his death, it’s a certain amount of karma.”


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