The man suspected in the March shooting death of a former priest who was credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors had responded to a Craigslist ad looking for young men to wrestle, according to Nevada police. John Capparelli, 70, was found dead in the kitchen of his Henderson, Nev. He had been a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, and was accused of groping, abusing, and photographing underage males, often in the context of wrestling.
Henderson police issued a warrant April 4 for the arrest of Derrick Decoste, 25, on charges of murder and robbery with a deadly weapon in connection with Capparelli's death.
Police discovered phone records demonstrating that Capperelli exchanged calls and texts with a linked to Decoste between Feb. Decoste's girlfriend told police he was "eager to make money" and so had responded to Capparelli's post seeking wrestlers, Mike Shoro of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported June 4.
She indicated that Decoste said he had robbed Capparelli after his second visit to his home. She turned over to police a bag with several wristwatches, at least one of which was identifiable as Capparelli's, and Decoste's handgun.
Capparelli was shot with that handgun, according to the warrant.
The warrant said that investigators found in Capparelli's home hundreds of homemade films with "nearly-nude men wrestling inside of the home, presumably while the victim filmed them," and indications he "often kept the company of prostitutes or paid entertainers. They also found a hard copy of a Craigslist ad from Capparelli seeking "young and good looking men" willing to wrestle or to compete in "submission matches.
During a March 26 interview with Henderson detectives "Decoste clearly intended to deceive investigators to include providing misleading information," according to the warrant.
Decoste is in a county jail in Michigan on unrelated charges of credit card fraud and impersonating a police officer, and is awaiting extradition to Nevada. Capparelli was removed from parish ministry insuspended from any ministry inand was dismissed from the clerical state around He was never prosecuted or convicted of a crime, but he was at the center of lawsuits against himself, the Newark archdiocese, Theodore McCarrick, and the Boy Scouts of America.
At least one suit resulted in a settlement. Capparelli was ordained inand was ased at three parishes, a prep school, and as a temporary chaplain at a hospital. Accusations against him date from the s through the early s.
Inone year after being suspended from ministry, Capparelli became a public school teacher in Newark. In he was teaching math to ninth graders, according to The Star-Ledger. The Newark school district learned of the allegations from the The Star-Ledger inand reviewed his record, but said there were no allegations against his time as a teacher.
He was soon after removed from the classroom and given an administrative position at the school district's headquarters.
Spokeswoman Renee Harper said that "he has not been demoted and remains an employee in good standing. Capparelli was sent to a treatment center in Jemez Springs, N. At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church.
We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church. John Capparelli, a former priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, was found dead in his Nevada home Saturday.
Caparelli had been included in a list of clerics credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors released last month. In an Aug. Seton Hall University has announced an independent review of accusations of sexual abuse and harassment against seminarians. Suspect in shooting death of former New Jersey priest answered a Craigslist ad. Derrick Decoste.
Photo via Oakland County Sheriff's Office. Las Vegas, Nev. At one time he ran a website which sold videos of adult men wrestling in very little clothing.
Police identify suspect in Denver cathedral vandalism Read article. Tags: murderClerical sex abuseSexual abuse of minors. Subscribe to our daily newsletter At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. Our mission is the truth.
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