January 10, 2006

Man sues military archdiocese, says he was abused in Key West

The Citizen

Citizen Staff

KEY WEST A former Key West resident has filed a $10 million civil lawsuit, alleging a Catholic priest sexually abused him in the late 1960s while serving as a Navy chaplain at Naval Air Station Key West.

Attorney Jeffrey Herman, representing a man identified as "John," said Father Romano Ferraro invited boys who attended Mass at the Navy base chapel to come to his house for pizza parties and movie nights. Ferraro, who was sentenced in 2004 to life in prison in Massachusetts for raping a boy, would walk around naked in his Key West home and then request that the boys sit on his lap, Herman said.

"John" was about 11 years old at the time of the alleged abuse and did not file reports to law enforcement officials, Herman said.

"We do believe there are many other victims in Key West, because he has memories of being put in a bath tub with four other boys," Herman said. "[Ferraro] would host these nights for the boys ... then he would abuse the kids."

Posted by kshaw at January 10, 2006 11:41 AM