Bishop Guglielmone has led the Diocese of Charleston since 2009. Prior to that, he served as a priest in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York. In August 2019, Guglielmone was accused of sexual abuse in a lawsuit filed in the state of New York.
The suit was filed on Aug. 14, the first day of a one-year period where abuse survivors could file claims against their abusers or the institutions which shielded their abusers, regardless of the statute of limitations. The one-year period was created by the passage of the Child Victims Act, which changed New York's statute of limitations for child sexual abuse.
The suit alleges that Guglielmone sexually abused a young man over a period of years while he was serving as pastor of St. Martin of Tours parish in Amityville, starting in 1978. Guglielmone has repeatedly insisted that the accusations against him are completely baseless. On Aug. 16 last year, he announced he would reduce his public appearances while the case was resolved.
While insisting that the accusation had "no merit whatsoever" the bishop said last year that he did not want "to distract the focus from the important ministries of the Church in South Carolina–including creating safe environments for our children."
Lacking a "semblance of truth" is a legal standard in canon law for treating allegations. When an accusation of sexual abuse is made, the preliminary investigation is held under the provisions of canon 1717 of the Code of Canon Law and Article 16 of the substantive norms of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on graviora delicta (major crimes).
In order for a canonical process to he continue, the investigation must find "at least the semblance of truth" to the accusation; canonically, this means that the accusation cannot be manifestly false or frivolous.