U.S.| Ex-Priest Charged of Sexual Assault Was Killed After Putting Craigslist Advertisement, Police Say
When John Capparelli, a previous priest with a long path of sexual assault accusations, was found shot to death at his Nevada house in March, the authorities stated that “suspicious situations” surrounded the homicide
Now, a suspect has actually been called: Derrick M. Decoste,25 The police in Henderson, Nev., where the killing happened, stated in an affidavit that Mr. Decoste, who had been leasing a space in close-by North Las Vegas, appeared to have actually gone to Mr. Capparelli’s house in response to a Craigslist advertisement looking for male wrestlers.
The Henderson Cops Department discovered Mr. Capparelli dead of a single gunshot injury to the neck on March 9, when officers went to carry out a health check. Detectives started investigating Mr. Decoste after they matched his name to a cellular phone number that Mr. Capparelli, 70, had actually been communicating with on March 6, the last day neighbors saw him alive. The authorities obtained an arrest warrant for Mr. Decoste on charges of murder with a lethal weapon and burglary with a deadly weapon.
Mr. Decoste is being held at the Oakland County Jail in Pontiac, Mich., on charges unassociated to the killing in Nevada. The cops in Henderson– who stated in their affidavit for a warrant that Mr. Decoste had a criminal record that consisted of episodes of home invasion, burglary and battery– are seeking to have him extradited.
According to the affidavit, which was submitted in April, Mr. Decoste went to Mr. Capparelli’s home at least as soon as after reacting to the online ad. In an interview with a Henderson authorities detective, Mr. Decoste stated it was for a “gig” taking photographs; in a different interview, his girlfriend said it involved wrestling.
She likewise offered the police with a 9-millimeter Smith & Wesson pistol that had actually belonged to Mr. Decoste, the affidavit stated. The caliber matched the cartridge casing found at the scene of the killing. Also among Mr. Decoste’s possessions was a watch that the authorities say had actually come from Mr. Capparelli.
The affidavit stated a number of products were missing out on from Mr. Capparelli’s house, including his wallet, cellular phone and home keys. It also said “private investigators located a printed out Craigslist ad which had been put by the victim. The advertisement looked for ‘young and great looking males’ who would be prepared to wrestle and or complete in ‘submission matches.'”
It was uncertain whether this was the advertisement to which Mr. Decoste reacted.
According to the affidavit, Mr. Decoste rejected owning a gun and stated he had had very little contact with Mr. Capparelli and left his house quickly after satisfying him.
It was unclear whether Mr. Decoste had a legal representative.
Mr. Capparelli, as soon as a priest in New Jersey, was among nearly 200 priests and deacons who were called in February by the Catholic dioceses in New Jersey as having been credibly implicated of the sexual abuse of a minor.
The Newark archdiocese stated that Mr. Capparelli, who was ordained in 1980, served in numerous parishes and schools prior to he was eliminated from ministry and later defrocked.
In claims, Mr. Capparelli has actually been implicated of searching teenage kids, asking them to wrestle and photographing them in compromising positions while using swimwears. He had actually never ever dealt with criminal charges associated with the claims, nor had he ever openly acknowledged any misbehavior.
Reported allegations versus Mr. Capparelli continued to emerge in the years after he left the ministry in1992 The Star-Ledger, the paper in Newark, covered him thoroughly, reporting in 2011 that he had been employed as a math teacher at a public high school in Newark. He later stopped teaching and moved to Nevada. For several years, Mr. Capparelli operated a porn website including boys battling, The Star-Ledger reported.
Among Mr. Capparelli’s accusers, Rich Fitter, told The New York Times in March that he had been raped by Mr. Capparelli as a teenager after fulfilling him through a Catholic after-school program in Union County, N.J., where the priest ran a fumbling club.
Mr. Fitter stated Mr. Capparelli recruited young men “with a particular look”– clean cut and athletic– for the club, befriending them and taking them to the films or out for pizza. He made the kids battle in Speedo swimsuits, stating that they risked getting caught on loose material and injuring themselves, Mr. Fitter stated.
While browsing Mr. Capparelli’s home after he was killed, investigators discovered “hundreds of homemade DVDs that included almost naked men battling inside the house, presumably while the victim shot them,” according to the affidavit.
Liam Stack and Rick Rojas contributed reporting.