Statewide Grand Jury Returns Indictment Charging Former Woonsocket Priest with Multiple Counts of Child Molestation 

 

An indictment, information, or complaint is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that on November 2, 2020, the Statewide Grand Jury returned an indictment charging John Petrocelli with three counts of first-degree child molestation and nine counts of second-degree child molestation.

 

As alleged in the indictment, the charges against the defendant stem from his actions while he served as an assistant pastor at Holy Family Parish in Woonsocket sometime between November 6, 1981 and October 3, 1990.

 

The indictment alleges that the defendant committed multiple acts of child molestation against three male victims who were all under the age of 14 at the time of the alleged assaults.

 

“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 Neronha. “Our ongoing review of alleged misconduct by clergy in Rhode Island is intended to achieve that result wherever possible.”

 

The secret indictment was unsealed and the defendant was arraigned in Providence County Superior Court on the afternoon of November 5, 2020.

 

Since last year, the Attorney General’s Office has been conducting a review of allegations of clergy child sexual abuse and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence’s handling of such allegations.  In connection with that review, the Office has gained access to records of the Diocese. Where the Office’s review develops evidence of alleged criminal misconduct, the Office and the Rhode Island State Police are committed to conducting a thorough investigation of such alleged misconduct and bringing criminal charges where appropriate.

 

The review remains ongoing.

CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield says the next three months are going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of the nation. Redfield says things are going to get worse before they get better. Redfield said it's important for Americans to recommit to the mitigation of coronavirus as a vaccine is around the corner. But right now, every single person is responsible for bringing down COVID numbers by wearing a mask, physically distancing, and washing their hands.       The Senate is welcoming Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly and saying goodbye to Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander. Kelly was sworn in today after beating Senator Martha McSally. Meanwhile, members of the chamber also gave farewell speeches to retiring Senator Alexander. The 80-year-old Lamar has served in the Senate since 2003.        President Trump is hoping the Supreme Court will see the 2020 presidential election was a "total catastrophe" and overturn the results. In a 46-minute social media video, Trump claimed they have "so much evidence" to prove "we've just elected a president where the votes were fraudulent."        Officials are telling people not to enter the water near Discovery Park in Seattle after thousands of gallons of sewage spilled into the Puget Sound. An operating error led to 15-thousand-gallons of wastewater to spill into the area. Coming into contact with wastewater can cause skin rashes and upper respiratory infections.       A California student suffering from a head injury after being shot during a Zoom distance learning session today. The sheriff's department says deputies responded to the home in Woodbridge after receiving several reports about a person shot. He was taken to the hospital, without a word on how serious his condition might be. KCRA reports Lodi Unified School District confirmed that the shooting happened during a sixth-grade Zoom class.       It looks like former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh [[ shay ]] died without a will. TMZ reports his father and brother "have a good faith belief" Hsieh did not have an estate plan for his 840-million-dollar net worth. Since Hsieh was single with no kids his brother and father asked a judge Nevada judge to make them administer his estate. Hsieh died last week at the age of 46 from injuries obtained during a house fire in Connecticut.