Bishop of Charleston sued over sexual abuse allegations in New York state

Robert Guglielmone

Bishop Robert Guglielmone of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston discusses the updated diocesan policy for dealing with allegations of sex abuse of minors on Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 in Charleston, S.C. The diocese includes the entire state of South Carolina (AP Photo/Bruce Smith).

CHARLESTON, SC (WSPA) – A lawsuit was filed Wednesday alleging that the current Bishop of Charleston sexually abused a minor in the 1970s while he was a priest in Amityville, New York.

Robert Guglielmone was serving as a priest at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church when the alleged incident occurred in 1978 or 1979.

According to the Diocese of Charleston, The Vatican was informed of the allegation and Bishop Guglielmone has been cooperating fully with the investigation initiated at the request of the Vatican.

Guglielmone’s lawyers released a statement saying:

β€œThese allegations are false, provably false. As the plaintiff admitted to a family member, he made this up in order to get money from the Church (β€œit’s worth a try,” the plaintiff said). Bishop Guglielmone is a good man who has devoted his entire career to the church, education, and community service. Although he was under no obligation to do so, he submitted himself to a polygraph examination, which he passed. We will not allow these false allegations to tarnish the outstanding and selfless work he has done throughout his life. We will see the plaintiff in Court and the Bishop will be cleared.”

Bruce Barket & Aida Leisenring, Attorneys for Bishop Guglielmone

The Diocese of Charleston says Guglielmone is cooperating fully in the case.

Guglielmone also released this statement:

β€œI understand that this individual filed a lawsuit against me today. The allegations are false. I engaged in no wrongdoing. I look forward to being vindicated in Court, and will refer specific questions about my defense to my attorneys, Bruce Barket and Aida Leisenring at Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP.”

Bishop Robert Guglielmone

The Bishop of Charleston is the head of the Diocese of Charleston which includes the entire state of South Carolina.

The Diocese of Charleston is the seventh oldest Roman Catholic diocese in the United States.

Guglielmone was appointed as Bishop of Charleston in 2009.

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