You are reading

High-Ranking Queens Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing Minor Decades Ago

Church of St Teresa

Sept. 11, 2019 By Allie Griffin

A high-ranking Queens priest has again come under fire for child sex abuse, with his accuser speaking out against him at a press conference Tuesday. 

Monsignor Otto Garcia, who was recently assigned to the Church of St. Teresa in Woodside, allegedly abused a boy at St. Michael’s Church in Flushing in the 1970s, as first reported by the New York Daily News in February

Thomas Davis, the alleged victim who first made the allegations against Garcia in 2017, spoke at a press conference yesterday held by the law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates, where the firm named 200 Brooklyn Diocese clergy members it believes have “credibly” been accused of child sex abuse. Garcia was one of the priests named. 

Davis told reporters yesterday that Garcia sexually abused him when he was a young boy at St. Michael’s in Flushing from 1973 to 1975. 

“I was molested by Father Otto Garcia when I was a child, back in the ‘70s,” Davis said at the press conference. “I lived with that for over 45 years, never telling anybody,” Davis added. “He was able to pick me out as a prime victim because my parents were very involved in the church and I didn’t think anybody would believe me.”

Davis reported the assault to the Diocese of Brooklyn years later in 2017, only to have the allegations dismissed.

Davis said the investigation by the diocese was inadequate. He said it took only two days.

“It was basically swept under a rug, they did nothing, they said it was unsubstantiated,” Davis said. 

On Aug. 14, Davis filed a lawsuit against the Diocese and Garcia under the New York Child Victims Act. A second person has also just filed suit against Garcia, alleging that he too was abused by Garcia as a minor in 1970s at St. Michael’s. 

Garcia, who went on to officiate at Joan of Arc Parish in Jackson Heights until April 2019, has denied the allegations.

“The Diocese of Brooklyn categorically denies the allegations made today by Jeff Anderson,” a spokesperson for the Diocese said. “He is well aware of the actions taken by the Diocese of Brooklyn with respect to Monsignor Otto Garcia, yet he is making sensational misrepresentations in order to garner media attention.”

In February, the Brooklyn Diocese released a list of 108 priests that it said had been accused of sexual abuse over the decades. Garcia’s name surfaced, most likely prompted by Davis’ allegation. The report noted that the Diocesan Review Board unanimously determined the allegations against him had been unsubstantiated.

However, others are doubtful of Garcia. 

A nun who worked with Garcia told the New York Daily News she wasn’t surprised by the allegations against him. 

Sister Sally Butler told the newspaper that she witnessed Garcia downplay multiple sexual abuse complaints involving other priests when he served as vicar general. 

At the time, one of Garcia’s responsibilities as a high ranking clergy member within the diocese was to investigate the allegations through interviews with the accused priests and their alleged victims and then make suggestions to local bishops based on his findings.

Butler brought forward three cases of alleged abuse of minors at the hands of priests to Garcia, who largely dismissed them. She told the Daily News he was the fixer, “the Michael Cohen of the diocese.” 

At the press conference, Jeff Anderson, the attorney, pleaded that the diocese remove Garcia from his position at the Church St. Teresa in Woodside. 

“Bishop, please it’s time. Get him out, get him out now.”

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

I am a survivor of sex abuse at the hands of a high ranking priest from Queens.The catholic church covers for these men behind a code of silence. This all boy’s club is called The GOD Sqaud.
My abuser joked about it once when I was a little boy!
You never get past the abuse,and you never heal from the pain.Nothing can be done.


If the Church cared about the Parishioners or the kids, they would stop being a haven for pedophiles and using poor Parishioners money to cover it up while they drink from gold challis. The Church needs to throw open the doors, out them all to the Prosecutors office,and then rebuild a transparent Church with Married, Parents and Women Priests. Without change the Church will die as it should be for all Religions that allow this. Which is all of them.


Is anyone surprised by this anymore? this problem may start to get better with newer priests but it will be never ending with the old time regime. So common that even the shock factor has worn off,sad.


Just let it go…… are you serious!!!!!! ~ I guess you have never been molested ~~ Ignorance is bliss so you live in your ignorant bubble

It's not about being molested

If you didn’t say anything about it 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago, why now???


Probably because it takes a certain kind of courage to revisit a traumatic experience in public. A person might feel ashamed and even be slightly damaged as a result of the molestation and not feel mentally equipped to talk about it, especially when they know complete strangers will accuse them of either lying or being weak.


Wow!!! I suppose your okay with the pig in the WH grabbing women by the P-ssy too!!!! What a complete ignorant thing to say. Heartless!


Jeff Anderson and Associates is a sleazy Minnesota law firm looking to capitalize on all these abuse cases. As always it will be the rotten lawyers who gain the most.


so anyone can make an uncorroborated claim from 45 years ago and get a nice payday from the church on the backs of poor immigrant parishioners??


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.