Ex-N.J. priest accused of sex abuse found shot to death in Nevada home

John Capparelli, 70, was shot in the neck, authorities said. He had been "credibly accused" of sexually abusing minors.

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By Minyvonne Burke

A former New Jersey priest who had been "credibly accused" of sexually abusing minors was found dead in his Nevada home, and police are treating it as a homicide.

The body of John Capparelli was found Saturday morning by police conducting a welfare check at his home in Henderson, about 15 miles south of Las Vegas.

The Clark County Coroner's Office said Capparelli, 70, died from a single gunshot wound to the neck. His body was found in the kitchen, a spokesperson said.

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Police said they did not have a suspect at this time.

Capparelli's name appeared on a list in February with 187 other clergy the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark said had been "credibly accused" of abusing minors.

He was never convicted of a crime, but he was laicized and permanently removed from ministry, according to the archdiocese.

According to NJ.com, Capparelli allegedly groped teenage boys and made them wrestle in swimwear while he snapped pictures of them. He was also accused of allegedly running a fetish website from his home, the outlet reports.

He denied the allegations to NJ.com in an interview in 2011, saying: "Everything is not true."

Capparelli moved to Nevada in 2016, the outlet reports.

The archdiocese said he worked at a number of churches and schools in New Jersey, including Our Lady of Fatima Church in North Bergen; Oratory Prep School in Summit; Holy Trinity in Westfield; and The Church of Saint Theresa in Kenilworth. He was also a temporary chaplain at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.