John McGann

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

2 Women Accuse Late LI Bishop, Others Of Sexual Abuse

February 19, 2019 - 3:31 pm

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Two women have come forward to accuse the former bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, along with other clergy members, of sexual abuse.

This is the first time that the women, now in their 60s, accused the former bishop John McGann of sexually abusing them when they were children.

The bishop died in 2002, but the women say the abuse still haunts them.

One woman claimed to have been abused dozens of times from 1966 to 1971 while the other says she was abused once in a conference room during a Christmas celebration.

They both claim clergy members had been drinking during the celebration and had abused them during the party.

“These two little girls saw each other being passed around from lap to lap to lap. And they were sexually abused on those laps,” said attorney Mitchell Garabedian.

The women also accused Monsignor Edward Melton and Father Robert Brown, who are both deceased, and parish janitor John  Hanlon.

Monsignor Edward Melton
Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Garabedian is looking for $10 million for each woman in compensation.

“You take away their robes and you take away their religion and they’re nothing but criminals,” the attorney said.

A victims’ compensation fund has already been established to help those abused by members of the church.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre has not returned requests for a comment.