Fr. James (Jaime) Lara




Diocese: Diocese of Brooklyn

Summary of Assignments:

  • 1974-1976: St. Barbara; Brooklyn, NY
  • 1977-1985: St. Francis Xavier Church; Brooklyn, NY
  • 1986-1989: St. Patrick; Long Island City, NY


Lara has been accused of sexually abusing three children at St. Francis Xavier Church, beginning when they were between 9 and 11 years old.

According to one victim, Lara was said to have “favor[ed] Hispanic boys” and he always seemed to be at St. Francis Xavier, serving as chaplain of the Boy Scouts and head of the altar boys. Another victim reported that Lara was often seen hanging around the gym at Public School 321’s summer program. Lara’s alleged abuse of one victim included kissing the boy, getting on top of the boy, and forcing the boy to touch his genitals in the rectory.

Lara was removed from active ministry in 1992 and laicized by the Vatican.

Lara then changed his name to Jaime and began a career as an academic. He was a professor at Yale University’s Divinity School and Institute of Sacred Music for over a decade. In 2012, Lara worked as a visiting professor at Notre Dame University. From 2013 to 2017, Lara was a professor of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University.

In November 2017, the Diocese of Brooklyn publicly released Lara’s name on their website, confirming that he had been laicized for child sex abuse. After the Diocese released his name, Arizona State University asked for his resignation.

At least 5 alleged victims of Lara’s abuse applied to Diocese’s 2017 Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

Sources: Republic 11.10.17New York Times 11.10.17State Press 11.10.17AP via KVOA-TV 11.11.17Daily Mail 11.13.17Yale Daily News 11.21.17East Valley Tribune 11.22.17