2010-11-26 / Top Stories

St. John's Defends Brother Tom

By Nicholas Briano

The St. John’s Residence for Boys says it is working to ensure programs continue uninterrupted despite the allegations against Trager. Its long-time director was arrested recenltyu on charges of sexual abuse of a former resident. The St. John’s Residence for Boys says it is working to ensure programs continue uninterrupted despite the allegations against Trager. Its long-time director was arrested recenltyu on charges of sexual abuse of a former resident. St. John’s Residence for Boys Board of Directors released a statement this week to The Wave after several attempts to reach the agency went unreturned.

St. John’s board member Michael O’Shea says the home looks forward to the resolution of the matter and emphasized Brother Tom Trager’s nearly 40 years of complaint free service to the home.

“Brother Tom has served in an exemplary way for almost 40 years at St. John’s Residence without a single complaint against him. We look forward to the resolution of this matter,” O’Shea said on behalf of the Board of Directors at St. John’s. “The Board of St. John’s Residence for Boys is concerned and takes seriously the charges against Brother Tom Trager and is working fully with investigators. Brother Tom is on leave from St. John’s Residence pending the outcome and resolution of the investigation.”

Brother Tom Trager Brother Tom Trager Some at St. John’s and others in the community close to Trager were shocked to hear earlier this month that 113 Precinct detectives arrested Trager at the home and brought him up on sexual abuse charges of a 16-year-old former resident.

The home, O’Shea says, is working to ensure that work and programs continue for the residents.

“The Board is working with senior leadership of St. John’s Residence to oversee that the operations of our programs and services continue uninterrupted, and that the children in our care remain safe,” he said.

The 100 Precinct Community Council Youth Committee says they plan on continuing the chess program once a week for the residents. Volunteers from the council go to the home every Monday after school and play chess with the participants.

Trager, 72, has been the executive director of the Rockaway Park home for more than 30 years. He professed his vows more than 50 years ago. He was arraigned on November 4 in Queens Criminal Court on two counts of third-degree sexual assault, five counts of third-degree criminal sexual act and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

According to court documents, Trager allegedly abused the teen since August 2009 in locations that included Trager’s apartment and car.

Trager is due back in court on December 6. Trager’s attorney couldn’t be reached for comment.

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