Rev John Petrocelli Indictment
The indictment of former Rev. John Petrocelli is the first criminal case under the attorney general’s review of the Providence Diocese
PROVIDENCE — A former priest on the Diocese of Providence’s list of “credibly accused” clergy was charged Thursday with molesting three boys while serving at a parish in Woonsocket in the 1980s.
The indictment of the former Reverend John Petrocelli is the first criminal case brought by the attorney general’s office in a review of more than 70 years of files of childhood sexual abusecases kept by the Diocese. This case focuses on the time when Petrocelli was an assistant pastor at Holy Family Parish in Woonsocket, and alleges that he sexually abused the three boys sometime between Nov. 6, 1981 and Oct. 3, 1990.
“There is nothing more critical to the mission of my Office than to deliver justice on behalf of victims and of the people of Rhode Island, regardless of the time that has passed after the alleged offense,” said Attorney General Peter Neronha in a statement. “Our ongoing review of alleged misconduct by clergy in Rhode Island is intended to achieve that result wherever possible.”
Providence lawyer Timothy Conlon, who has sued the Diocese and Petrocelli on behalf of two men who said the priest molested them as boys, said the news of the arrest “was gratifying” for them.