Spotlight on Abuse: St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Long Island

By | May 2, 2022
Spotlight on Abuse: St. Paul's Episcopal School, Long Island

In October of 2019, an adult man sued the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and its Bishop Lawrence Provenzano for underage sexual assault by a lay employee that took place at the former St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Garden City, Long Island. St. Paul’s school is the alma mater of President Donald Trump’s two brothers and two of his uncles. The school on the grounds of the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City closed in 1991.

The suit alleges that lay teacher Joseph A. O’Connor sexually assaulted a 14-16 year old boy daily for two years by spanking him, touching his penis and buttocks, digitally penetrating him, masturbating him, performing oral sex on him, and forcing him to touch O’Connor’s own genitals, as well as threatening retaliation if he told anyone.
Neither the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island nor Bishop Provenzano have made any statements on this case or the extensive history of safeguarding violations at St. Paul’s school during its 100-year history.

Summary judgment was granted on May 18, 2021 after Bishop Provenzano petitioned for his removal as a defendant because he was not yet Bishop of Long Island at the time of the abuse.

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