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Cleveland Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Diocese of ClevelandMany Ohio parishioners in the Roman Catholic Church are seeking for answers to understand their purpose in life better and seek healing through the spiritual words of Catholicism. Many in the congregation put their faith in the Vatican, the Pope, local dioceses, bishop, pastor, parish priests, and deacons who provide guidance. Sadly, many clergy members use the power given to them by the Church to abuse and molest minors and vulnerable adults.

Over the last few decades, many of the cases involving sexual molestation committed by priests and deacons shook the foundation of the Catholic Church. Some parishioners had children who were sexually abused and sought help from their church leaders to ensure that the predatory priest was held accountable.

Unfortunately, the Diocese and local Bishop often looked the other way, hid evidence, and sought to protect the priest, while neglecting to help his victims. Only recently have some dioceses in the United States begun setting up a financial compensation fund and papal commissions to protect minors from Church abusers.

Cleveland Diocese Child Sex Abuse Attorneys

It is reprehensible that only a small number of clergy sexual predators have ever been held legally accountable even if the allegations against them were credible. Many times, the parish pastor or Diocese Bishop failed to turn over evidence to local law enforcement to ensure the accusation was investigated.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has long represented victims of clerical sexual abuse to ensure they receive justice and financial compensation to recover their damages. If you are the victim of child sex abuse, we can provide a confidential setting to listen to your horrific story and provide guidance on how to proceed. Let us discuss the result of sexual abuse and all your legal options today to ensure that the sexual predator never hurts another innocent victim.

A Code of Silence

Nearly a decade ago, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child sought answers from the Vatican and the Pope to ensure the predatory priests were removed from active ministry. A news release revealed the Roman Catholic Church’s lack of transparency. For years, Church leaders hid new names of child sex abusers ministering to the congregation in Diocese, child pornography among clerics, and cases of the sexual abuse of minors throughout the United States, including in the Diocese of Cleveland.

According to the United Nations Committee, the Roman Catholic Church has the spiritual responsibility for protecting all the children and vulnerable adults under their care from the sexually inappropriate behavior by clergy. In response, the Church often allowed the molester to remain at his local parish, providing that access to the sexual assault survivor, and other potential victims.

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

Church officials for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and the Catholic Diocese of Columbus utilize a Child & Youth Protection pledge. The pledge provides an immediate response if your loved one was sexually abused by a clergy member. To report abuse, click here to write to the Diocese’s victim assistance coordinator Kathleen McComb or call her at (216) 334-2999.

The Diocese of Cleveland developed a policy on reporting any accusation of sexual abuse involving minors. It requires Church officials and Bishop Nelson Perez to report the incident immediately to the appropriate public civil authorities and Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office. The report should include all suspicions or knowledge of the inappropriate sexual activity and child pornography by a member of the clergy.

The report given to prosecutors could include any priest, deacon, seminarian, deacon candidate, volunteer, religious women and men, ecclesial ministers, or employees of the Diocese, parishes, organizations, or institutions involved with the Church. These members are taught the best practices on child safety that teaches them to recognize the apparent signs of abuse and grooming processes to prepare a child for sexual assault.

Survivors of child sexual assault can receive compassionate care from the Diocese of Cleveland. This care includes counseling assistance of the victim’s choosing for the length of time required to heal. The Diocese is to perform criminal background checks on all volunteers, staff members, and clergy who have access to children and vulnerable adults throughout the Diocese of Cleveland, including its eight counties.

The Cleveland Diocese borders Lake Erie in Northern Ohio. The diocese counties include Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit, and Wayne. The Diocese manages over 185 churches and 108 Catholic schools, including elementary, middle, and high schools.

Bishop Perez acknowledges the problem as an occasion of profound sadness. The Bishop of Cleveland hopes the release of the names of clerics with credible accusations can start the healing process for those harmed by priests.

Conference of Catholic Bishops

During the initiation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter, they conducted hierarchical investigations of parish priests. The bishops did not have the jurisdiction to investigate other bishops and cardinals that were overseen by the Vatican (Holy See).

However, in recent years, after the allegations arose involving Archbishop Theodore McCarrick of alleged harassment and sexual abuse, the Catholic Bishops began a comprehensive investigation into the case. Every employee of the Church now receives sexual abuse prevention personnel training.

In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops enacted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Bishops hoped to create a better and safer environment for minors and young people while disciplining predatory priests. Bishops now provide local law enforcement a list of clergy members with credible allegations.

The Charter was designed to ensure accountability for the Church’s failure to protect minors and to provide room for reconciliation and healing of sexual abuse survivors. The Charter hopes to ensure that the response to the allegations made by sexually abused accusers would be useful and prompt. Over the years, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People has undergone revisions in 2005, 2011, and 2018.

Church Officials Guilty of Intentional Secrecy

Recently, the Roman Catholic Church has been exposed for its years of intentional secrecy that protected sexually abusive priests from local law enforcement, parishioners, and the public. The Church went to great lengths to ensure a lack of transparency, sometimes allowing the predator priests to remain in active ministry in their parish with access to young children and vulnerable adults. Sometimes, the Vatican, under the guidance of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XIII, and Pope John Paul II, would order the priest to be transferred to another diocese or state and never informed parishioners what had happened.

Less than thirty years ago, the Church’s deceitful actions of hiding evidence involving child sex abuse began showing signs of cracks, finally exposing a worldwide cover-up. Many sexual abuse survivors who were injured by predatory priests stood tall and made strong allegations against those that caused them harm.

Many of these victims told horrific stories involving years of sexual abuse by religious leaders who were to provide spiritual guidance. The result of sexual abuse of a child by a cleric often left the victim facing years of counseling.

The spread of sexual molestation by clergy members in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland stretched across the state of Ohio into Pennsylvania and other surrounding states. Many of those who were sexually violated by the predatory priest suffered their injuries at Church, in the parish rectory, during sporting events, at a parochial school, at church camp, or other Roman Catholic-related venue.

More Names Added to the Clergy Abuser List

In June 2019, the Cleveland Diocese released an updated list of sexual predators among the Church’s religious leaders with credible allegations of sexual misconduct. The new list contained an additional twenty-two clergy members that included old allegations of priests whose names had been previously removed.

The list was updated by Cleveland Diocese Bishop Perez. Out of the twenty-two names, there are only six that are still alive. Many of the allegations of sexual misconduct happened decades ago. One name on the list included Reverend Anthony Schuerger, who served the Cleveland St Malachi Parish congregation as a long-time pastor.

Church officials placed the priest on administrative leave until the allegation of child abuse could be investigated by the Diocesan Review Board. The independent review board found that Schuerger had been active in ministry at Saint Malachi Church for over two decades.

Nearly all the cases involving predatory priests happen years ago, long passed the expiration of the Ohio statute of limitations. The Grand Jury Report revealed the current status and indictments of eleven religious leaders, including priests and deacons.

Hiring a Diocese of Cleveland Clergy Abuse Lawyer

If you are a victim of sexual abuse harmed by a religious order member of the clergy in the Roman Catholic Church, our dedicated attorneys are here to help. Let us protect your rights through the healing process. Our legal team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, can discuss the aspects of your case in a confidential setting.

We can provide immediate legal counsel and show you different pathways to ensure you are financially compensated for your damages. Our law firm has already obtained more than $250 million in damages on behalf of our clients. We can help your family too.

We accept all sexual abuse of minors’ cases where the religious leader remains in “active ministry,” on a leave of absence, was removed from the priesthood, already retired, named in a civil litigation lawsuit, or deceased.

List of Clergy Abusers in the Archdiocese of Cleveland

Arko, Richard A.

Ordained: 1990
In January 2004, law enforcement arrested Father Richard A. Arko and charged him with growing marijuana in the Church rectory for sale. The local police were apprised of what the Reverend was doing by an informant. The informant said he had been involved in a sexual relationship with Father Arko since he was fifteen years old. Arko’s sexual assault victim stated the priest plied him with drugs and gave him money and gives in exchange for sex. In July 2004, the state of Ohio took away Father Arko’s massage therapy license because of his marijuana-growing felony conviction. In 2005, Church officials removed Arko from active ministry. The Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) in July 2015.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Bailey, George F.

Ordained: 1963
In the late 1980s, Father George F. Bailey left the priesthood. Documents reveal accusations by at least ten females claiming that Reverend Bailey sexually assaulting them at the Bedford, OH, St. Mary school, and Akron, OH St. Vincent School. At the time of the sexual molestations, the sexual assault survivors were grade school students. Documents reveal that the Diocese of Cleveland knew of the accusations before the Reverend left the priesthood. The Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Bailey in 2014.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Bals, Jerry

Ordained: 1973
In 1973, Jerry Bals was ordained as a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. He later faced accusations of fondling underage females at Lake Catholic High School during counseling sessions when he worked there as the librarian/guidance counselor. The alleged incidents of sexual molestation occurred over fourteen years. Out of eight of the alleged victims, five sexual abuse survivors filed a civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Cleveland and Jerry Bals. The Church settled the claims. A November 2002 article revealed criminal charges filed against Bals were dropped after the Deacon made a plea agreement requiring him to forfeit his state teaching credentials. Between 2000 and 2003, the Roman Catholic Church paid the wife of Deacon Bals $800 a month at the time that he was living with her. Since then, the Church permanently removed Deacon Bals from active ministry.

Current Status: Removed from active ministry


Banner, Russell J.

Ordained: 1967
In 2002, Church officials placed Father Russell J. Banner on administrative leave when allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct arose. The Church had previously evaluated Reverend Banner and ordered him to receive treatment before returning to active ministry. In 2004, a second male victim stepped forward and made accusations that Father Banner had sexually abused him for over two years when he was between twelve and fourteen years of age. At the time of the alleged sexual molestation, the boy lived at the Parmadale children’s home, where Banner worked as the home counselor. In 2004, the victim filed a civil lawsuit against Banner and the Diocese of Cleveland. Between 1986 and 1987, Father Banner worked in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2015, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Banner.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Bartnikowski, Raymond B.

Ordained: 1963
In 2002, Church officials from the Diocese of Cleveland placed Father Raymond B. Bartnikowski on administrative leave after accusations arose involving sexual misconduct. A woman alleges that Reverend Bartnikowski sexually assaulted her in 1967 when she was twelve years of age. Two additional females stepped forward to make accusations that Bartnikowski sexually assaulted them in the 1960s. The sexual abuse survivors accused Reverend Bartnikowski of spanking their bare bottoms.

Current Status: Died: 2007


Bogucki, Kenneth

Ordained: 1984
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Father Kenneth Bogucki with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Botty, Paul

Ordained: ?
In 1986, Marianist Brother Paul Botty was arrested, charged, and convicted of sexual battery (State V. Botty, 1988 WL 86954) and received a 7.5-year prison sentence for the sexual assault of four teenage males. The court dismissed a dozen other felony counts against Brother Botty at the time of his conviction. In January 2008, a Marianist’s Newsletter identified Brother Botty as a “former Marianist.”

Current Status: Died: 2007


Brickman, Donald P.

Ordained: 1981
In 2002, Church officials placed Father Donald P. Brickman on administrative leave after facing allegations of sexual misconduct in the late 1980s. Brickman was named in a file civil lawsuit. Afterward, the Church ordered an evaluation of the priest’s behavior followed by treatment before allowing him to return to active ministry without incident. During his career, Reverend Brickman served the Diocese of Cleveland as a judicial vicar. He was a high ranking religious leader in the Diocese who received promotions in the Roman Catholic Church after the allegations of sexual abuse arose, and he returned to duty. In December 2008, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Reverend Brickman.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Briffa, Emmanuel

Ordained: ?
In 2018, the Jesuit Order publicly named Father Emmanuel Briffa with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. Church documents revealed a single allegation against Reverend Briffa that happened in 1957 in Canton, Ohio, while the priest was visiting friends. In December 1963, the Jesuits dismissed Briffa from their Order. The allegations involving sexual misconduct were reported after he died.

Current Status: Deceased


Brockman, Henry A.

Ordained: 1912
In 2018, the Jesuit Order publicly named Father Henry A. Brockman with credible evidence of sexual molestation of multiple victims. The alleged incidents of sexual misconduct occurred during the 1950s and 1960s when Reverend Brockman was assigned to the Cleveland, OH, Saint Ignatius High School.

Current Status: Died: 1973


Brodnick, Joseph F.

Ordained: 1969
In 2002, Church officials placed Father Joseph F. Brodnick on administrative leave after allegations arose that he had been involved in an “inappropriate relationship” with an underage female in the mid-1970s. The alleged incidents occurred in Cleveland. The Church ordered that he be evaluated and receive treatment before being allowed to return to active Ministry in 1997. At that time, he was transferred to the Diocese of Rochester in New York. Starting in January 1997, Father Brodnick worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Church documents reveal that the hospital and the Diocese of Rochester knew of the Reverend’s past accusations.

Current Status: Permanently removed from active ministry


Broome, Robert C.

Ordained: 1943
In 2018, the Jesuit Order publicly named Father Robert C. Broome with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. In 1930, Reverend Broome joined the Jesuit Order. In 1956, the priest faced a single allegation of sexual molestation that occurred when he was assigned to the Cleveland, OH, Saint Ignatius High School. The incident of sexual misconduct was first reported after he died in 2000.

Current Status: Died: 2000


Bruening, Allen F.

Ordained: 1951
Father Allen F. Bruening faced allegations that he sexually assaulted two brothers nearly two decades apart. In 1968 or 1969, the victim’s parents complained to the Diocese of Cleveland. At that time, Church officials told the parents that Reverend Bruening would receive treatment for his inappropriate actions. However, the Church reassigned the priest to a new high school instead. In 1984, Church officials received more complaints and finally removed Bruening from active ministry to the congregation. He was then assigned to the Community Hospital as the chaplain. Church officials later reassigned him to a new parish with access to children. In 1991, Reverend Allen Bruening was named in a filed civil lawsuit. The Church sent Bruening to the Servants of the Paracletes Center to receive treatment for inappropriate sexual conduct and then reassigned him to the Diocese of Amarillo in Texas. In June 2007, Vatican officials ordered Reverend removed from active ministry permanently to live a life of prayer and penance. His name remains on the June 2019 Cleveland Diocese list.

Current Status: Deceased


Burg, Thomas R.

Ordained: 1964
In April 2002, the Diocese of Cleveland released a dozen names of religious leaders, including Father Thomas R. Burg,  who no longer ministered to the congregation due to past accusations of sexual abuse involving minors. Reverend Burg was accused of sexually abusing at least one underage female. The alleged molestation occurred when the girl was confessing.

Current Status: Deceased


Burrill, Ignatius M.

Ordained: 1937
In August 2011, the Chicago/Detroit Jesuit Province revealed allegations of sexual misconduct involving Father Ignatius M. Burrill that allegedly occurred between 1952 in 1956. The incidents allegedly involved a former Cleveland, OH, Saint Ignatius High School student. Reverend Burrill’s name appeared in a recent negotiated settlement. Burrill’s name appears on the Midwest Jesuit Province List that identified multiple allegations of sexual misconduct that happened in the 1950s while the priest was working at the Cleveland, OH, Saint Ignatius High School.

Current Status: Died: 1987


Ciolek, John

Ordained: 1938
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Father John Ciolek with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim.

Current Status: Died:


Connor, John

Ordained: 1959
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Father John Connor with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim.

Current Status: Deceased


Conway, Neil P.

Ordained: 1963
In 1985, Father Neil P. Conway was caught sexually molesting underage minors. The alleged incidents lasted between 1968 and 1985, and involved at least eight underage males. Church officials sent Reverend Conway to counseling. In 1987, Conway left the church claiming total disability. His psychological reports indicated that he could not function effectively. In April 2002, an additional two victims, or more, filed a civil lawsuit against Father Conway. That same month, the Diocese of Cleveland released his name on a list of priests with credible evidence of sexual molestation. In March 2004, a third civil lawsuit was filed. No criminal charges were filed against Reverend Conway.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


Deehr, Anselm

Ordained: 1990
Reverend Deehr faced accusations that he sexually assaulted an underage male between 1983 and 1987 at the Our Lady of Fatima Center. Before his ordination to the Roman Catholic Church in 1990, Father Anselm Deehr served as a religious brother. Reverend Deehr founded the Cleveland, OH, Our Lady of Fatima Center where he was assigned between 1970 and 1987. His victim filed a civil lawsuit in the early 2000s. Reverend Deehr’s name is included In the “Final Addendum to the Report to the People of God” from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles dated October 2008. The list contained the names of priests found with credible evidence of sexual misconduct. During Deehr’s career, he was assigned to numerous parishes and dioceses in Atlanta, Georgia, Cleveland, Ohio, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, California, Adelphia, Maryland, and Sterling, New Jersey.

Current Status: Named in a civil lawsuit


Ehrbar, Joseph

Ordained: 1945
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Father Joseph Ehrbar with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim.

Current Status: Deceased


Estadt, Harry

Ordained: 1932
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Monsignor Harry Estadt with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. During Estadt’s career, he was assigned to the St. Thomas the Apostle Parish for over four decades starting in 1935.

Current Status: Died: 1991


Ferrante, Leonard A.

Ordained: 1964
In April 2002, the Diocese of Cleveland listed Father Leonard A. Ferrante as relieved from active ministry due to accusations that he had sexually assaulted underage minors in the past. During Reverend Ferrante’s career, he had been assigned to the Borromeo Seminary High School and College between 1967 and 1976. During 1972 and 1973, he worked at the Lake County Catholic High School. Church documents indicate that the priest was away on leave between 1976 and 1979 and shows him absent on administrative leave between 1986 and 1988. The Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Ferrante. His name appears on the Cleveland Diocese June 2019 List.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Gannon, Thomas M.

Ordained: 1967
In 2018, the Jesuits Midwest Province publicly named Father Thomas M. Gannon with credible evidence of sexual molestation of multiple alleged victims. The incidents of sexual misconduct allegedly occurred while Reverend Gannon was assigned to the Cleveland, OH Saint Ignatius High School between 1961 and 1964, Gary, IN, Saint James Church in 1983, and Chicago, IL Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in 1993. The February 2020 Jesuits Midwest Province list revealed allegations involving Gannon’s sexual misconduct in 1977 and 1978 while he was assigned to Chicago Loyola University.

Current Status: Died: 2011


Garvey, Gerald B.

Ordained: 1934
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Father Gerald B. Garvey with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. The alleged sexual molestation happened while Reverend Garvey worked at the Cleveland, OH Saint Ignatius High School during the 1950s.

Current Status: Died: 1960


Gumucio, Oscar

Ordained: ?
In 2018, the Jesuit Order publicly named Father Oscar Gumucio with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. In 1947 Bolivia-native Reverend Gumucio joined the Jesuit Order. The single accusation of sexual molestation involving the priest was revealed after his death. Allegedly, the sexual assault happened from 1970 until 1972 when he was assigned to the Cleveland, OH, Lincoln Junior High School, and St. Patrick’s Parish. In June 1975, Church officials dismissed Gumucio from his position.

Current Status: Deceased


Hovanec, George T.

Ordained: 1929
In April 2002, an alleged victim of Father George T. Hovanec wrote to the Archbishop that the priest had sexually assaulted her nearly five decades before when she was a seventh-grader. The woman accused Reverend Hovanec of touching and patting her in a very sexually inappropriate way. The priest then invited her into the basement to count envelopes from Sunday mass. Instead of entering the basement with him, the alleged victim fled the Church. Between 1961 and 1965, Father Hovanec was not assigned to work in any parish. He died in 1965.

Current Status: Died: 1965


Ischay, Matthew A.

Ordained: 1975
By August 2011, Church officials removed Father Matthew A. Ischay from the parochial vicar position he held that the Akron, Ohio St. Paul’s Parish. The Church placed Reverend Ischay on a leave of administrative absence after his name appeared in a filed civil lawsuit from Cuyahoga County. The complainant in the suit alleges that the priest was involved in sexual misconduct involving an underage child during the late 1970s. At that time, until about 1981, Father Ischay was assigned to the North Olmsted, OH Saint Richard’s Parish, where he had been since he was ordained in the priesthood. In October 2012, the lawsuit was dropped by the plaintiff because the state’s statute of limitations had expired. After the lawsuit was filed, at least four other alleged victims stepped forward to accuse Ischay of sexual assault. The June 2019 Diocese of Cleveland list shows Father Ischay on administrative leave while the Vatican decides to defrock or remove the Reverend from the priesthood, or not.

Current Status: Named in a civil lawsuit


Jacoby, John O.

Ordained: 1953
Allegedly, Father John O. Jacoby sexually molested at least six underage females during the 1960s while he was assigned to the Akron, OH St. Mary High School. After reports arose of the sexual assault of two girls, Church officials transferred Reverend Jacoby. In 1982, father Jacoby left the Diocese of Cleveland and the priesthood. In 2005, one of the alleged sexual abuse survivors said that the Diocese of Cleveland never satisfied the terms of the negotiated settlement that stipulated the Cleveland Diocese would make a public apology, and the Church would provide a written apology to every victim.

Current Status: Deceased


Kickel, Edward

Ordained: 1922
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Roman Catholic Church received several complaints involving Father Edward Kickel, nicknamed “The Feeler,” for sexually assaulting underage females during religion class. Even though Church officials were aware of Reverend Kickel’s inappropriate sexual conduct, they did nothing. In 1969, the victims’ parents held a meeting. In response, the parish pastor barred the priest from teaching religion classes and hearing confessions but told the victims’ parents to remain quiet. In 2000, the Church denied one of Kickel’s sexual abuse survivor payment for counseling because the Diocese of Cleveland said there was no evidence to support her claim. In 2002, additional reports revealed dozens of other women alleging that they were also abused by Father Kickel. The priest’s name appears on the June 2019 Cleveland Diocese list.

Current Status: Died: 1972


Kitt, Liam

Ordained: 1943
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Father Liam Kitt with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim.

Current Status: Deceased


Klamet, Frank

Ordained: 1978
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Father Frank Klamet with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim.

Current Status: Deceased


Labbe, Joseph P.

Ordained: 1975
In April 2002, Diocese of Cleveland Church officials placed Father Joseph P. Labbe on a leave of absence after recent allegations arose involving past sexual abuse. Several underage males had accused Reverend Labbe of sexually molesting them in the 1980s. The priest denied the accusations. During the time of the alleged inappropriate sexual conduct, Father Joseph Labbe was assigned to the Wickliffe, Ohio Borromeo Seminary College as the Director of Admissions. In September 2010, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Labbe.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Lang, Joseph J.

Ordained: 1965
In April 2002, the Diocese of Cleveland named Father Joseph J. Lang along with other religious leaders who had been removed from their assignments in the Roman Catholic Church due to past allegations involving sexual molestation. The accusations against the Reverend was based on reports of inappropriate sexual conduct involving an underage child in the United States. In 1988, the Canadian Diocese of Prince George “loaned” Father Lang to the Cleveland Diocese, where he worked until April 2002. At that time, the Cleveland Bishop revoked Lang’s faculties and ordered him to receive treatment before returning for a new assignment. In June 2007, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Lang.

Current Status: Died: 2013


Lieberth, Joseph J.

Ordained: 1968
In April 2002, the Diocese of Cleveland named religious leaders, including Father Joseph J. Lieberth, who were accused of sexually assaulting innocent victims in the past. Church officials ordered an evaluation of Reverend Lieberth’s behavior and treatment before he was allowed to return to active ministry. Father Lieberth acknowledged that he had sexually assaulted a seventeen-year-old male who was the Church Deacon’s son in 1986 while on a trip to California. The priest referred to the sexual assault as an “isolated incident.” The auxiliary Bishop from the Diocese of Cleveland persuaded the sexual abuse survivor and his family did not contact law enforcement and report the crime. In 2002, a second accuser stepped forward and accused Father Lieberth the sexual molestation that occurred in 1985 while on a trip. In July 2002, the first accuser filed a civil lawsuit against the Church and Lieberth. By 2009, Reverend Lieberth remained on a leave of absence. In March 2015, the Diocese of Cleveland announced that the priest was currently living “a life of prayer and penance.”

Current Status: Currently living a life of prayer and penance


Louis, Martin J.

Ordained: 1966
In 1990, a young adult woman accused Father Martin J. Louis of sexually assaulting and raping her on numerous occasions starting when she was ten years of age. The Diocese of Cleveland forced the priest to resign his position and ordered him to receive counseling. The following year, Reverend Louis’ victim filed a civil lawsuit that was settled in 1992. That year, a grand jury indicted Father Louis on rape charges. Other victims stepped forward after the charges were filed. The next year, he received a 5 to 20 five-year prison sentence and remained incarcerated as of August 2011. Reverend Louis admitted to his therapists that he had sexually assaulted as many as ninety victims, though Church officials from the Diocese of Cleveland said the the numbers likely 14 to 16 victims. In 2001, Father Martin Louis was named in a civil lawsuit alleging that the priest had sexually assaulted an underage male. The Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Lewis.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Lucas, Theodore

Ordained: 1984
Starting in March 2016, Church officials placed Father Theodore Lucas on a “medical leave of absence” when credible accusations of “sexual misconduct involving a minor” arose. The Church ordered Reverend Lucas not to participate with the congregation as a priest in any capacity anywhere until the investigation was over. Between 1984 and 1989, Father Lucas was assigned to the Middleburg Heights Saint Bartholomew’s Parish. From 1989 to 1997, the Reverend was at the Solon, Ohio Resurrection of Our Lord Parish. Between 1997 and 2014, Reverend Lucas worked at the Willowick, Ohio St. Mary Magdalene’s Parish. Currently, Father Lucas remains on administrative leave while the Vatican is considering his laicization (removal from the priesthood). His name appears on the June 2019 Diocese of Cleveland list.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Luckay, Thomas J.

Ordained: 1965
In 2002, the Diocese of Cleveland released a list of religious leaders, including Father Thomas J. Luckay, with credible accusations from the past involving sexual abuse of minors. These priests were no longer ministering to the congregation.

Current Status: Accused of inappropriate sexual conduct


Mangen (Mangan), Daniel J.

Ordained: 1980
A March 2002 report revealed allegations against Father Daniel J. Mangen where a victim accused him of sexually molesting and raping an underage child during the early 1960s. The sexual assault allegedly lasted for three years when the victim was 16 to 18 years of age. In 1999, the victim filed a civil lawsuit. Reverend Mangen admitted he was sexually active with minors and adults but denied the accusations made by the woman. Father Mangen said he was sexually involved with two parishioners during the time he allegedly assaulted his accuser. During his career, Reverend Mangen was assigned to religious work in Chile, South America in 1984. As of November 2010, he likely resided in Valdivia, Chile.

Current Status: Named in a civil lawsuit


McBride, Daniel R.

Ordained: 1951
In 2002, Church officials from the Diocese of Cleveland placed Father Daniel McBride on administrative leave after he was charged with sexually molesting a seventeen-year-old boy. Local police stated that the victim was part of a prostitution ring. Reverend McBride pled guilty on charges of soliciting an underage child and received a three-year probation sentence starting in June 2003. Law enforcement charged McBride after completing an investigation of the Parmadale Residential Treatment Facility. The Center is known for its emotional problems and delinquent behavior. The facility is operated by the Cleveland Catholic Charities for children. The Church kept Father McBride on administrative leave until he died in 2015.

Current Status: Died: 2015


McCool, John William

Ordained: 1973
In 2002, Father John William McCool was named on a Diocese of Cleveland list among twelve religious leaders who were removed from active ministry because of past allegations of sexually molesting minors. Since then, Reverend McCool left the priesthood and got married.

Current Status: Died: 2017


McDonough, Howard J.

Ordained: ?
A news report in 2002 revealed a 1993 civil lawsuit filed against Brother Howard J. McDonough
on allegations that he sexually molested a fourteen-year-old student two decades earlier. Documents revealed that school officials are quietly reassigning Brother McDonough after accusations by others arose. In 1995, the lawsuit was dismissed due to the expiration of the Ohio statute of limitations. Documents reveal that the Brother was no longer associated with the Jesuit Order. However, his name appeared on the December 2018 Jesuit Midwest Province list with notations of a single allegation of sexual molestation that occurred in 1973. This alleged abuse occurred while Brother McDonough worked at the Cuyahoga Falls, OH Walsh Jesuit High School. In 1975, the Jesuit Order dismissed the Brother from his position.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


McGonegal, James

Ordained: 1971
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Father James McGonegal with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. Church officials ordered Reverend McGonegal to remain on administrative leave while the Vatican was deciding whether to laicize (defrock) him.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


McNulty, J. Brendan

Ordained: 1974
In 2003, Church officials placed Father J. Brendan McNulty on administrative leave as allegations arose that he sexually assaulted several victims. The alleged sexual survivors were seven brothers who befriended Reverend McNulty before he was ordained in two the Roman Catholic Church. The Cleveland Diocese Review Board deemed the allegations against Reverend McNulty to be credible. The priest apologized to one victim in a letter written in 1982, mentioning that the victim’s older brothers had also been hurt. Evidence revealed that the sexual molestation lasted about a decade. In November 2007, the Vatican announced a laicization (defrocking – removal from the priesthood) of McNulty.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


McWilliams, Robert D.

Ordained: 2017
In December 2019, Law enforcement arrested and charged Father Robert D. McWilliams with sending and receiving child pornography. Church officials placed Reverend McWilliams on administrative leave from his position in Strongsville, Ohio at St. Joseph and John School and St. Joseph’s Parish. Father McWilliams allegedly posed as a teenage female so teenage males would send nude photographs of themselves to him. Reports indicate that investigators discovered substantial amounts of pornographic photographs and videos of minors in McWilliams’ possession. In January 2020, Father McWilliams pled not guilty to the charges. One month later, the District Attorney’s Office filed new charges against McWilliams that included sex trafficking of a minor. Prosecutors in the case state that McWilliams paid an underage male for sex on numerous occasions.

Current Status: Arrested and charged


Monaghan, Nicholas Francis

Ordained: 1907
In early 2008, an alleged victim of Father Nicholas Francis Monaghan approach Church officials at the Diocese of Fort Worth in Texas. The woman accused Reverend Monahan of groping and kissing her years ago when she was a girl working in the rectory on Saturdays and after school. From 1923 until his death in 1967, Father Monahan was the Parma, Ohio St. Charles Borromeo Parish pastor. The Fort Worth Diocese helped pay for her therapy counseling sessions until she could seek out assistance from the Diocese of Cleveland in June 2008. Since then, at least six other females stepped up to make the same accusations against Reverend Monahan. In June 2011, Church officials removed a plaque with his name on it from the Church. His name still appears on the June 2019 Diocese of Cleveland list.

Current Status: Died: 1967


Mueller, John J.

Ordained: 1959
In July 2002, Church officials from the Diocese of Cleveland placed Father John J. Mueller on administrative leave after allegations arose that he sexually molested an underage female in 1962. Reverend Mueller denied the accusations and the Church allowed him to retire from active ministry in March 2003. The Cleveland Diocese Review Board said the evidence against Mueller was credible and that he had sexually abused a minor. However, the Review Board said he could not be removed from the priesthood because the victim was sixteen years old at the time of the assault and, under Church law, she was recognized as an adult. Father Mueller also faced another allegation that he sexually assaulted a woman in 1977. His name appears on the June 2019 Diocese of Cleveland list.

Current Status: Deceased


Mulica, Frederick James

Ordained: 1967
Father Frederick James Mulica faced accusations that he sexually assaulted an underage altar boy in 1981. The Diocese of Cleveland negotiated an out of court settlement for $45,000 with the victim’s family on the condition that the priest would never work around children. Before his reassignment to a new diocese in 1983, the Church sent Father Mulica to an alcohol treatment center. He was then transferred to work at a new parish and school. In 1987, after an investigation and charges of sexual misconduct involving other priests were revealed, the Church reassigned Reverend Mulica to work for Catholics in a non-Parish position. In 1989, the Church placed Mulica on a “disability leave” of absence. In 1991, he is thought to have left the priesthood but remained on administrative leave because there were accusations filed against him. In 2003, his sexual abuse survivor and family filed a civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Cleveland for defamation. In 2006, the Diocese negotiated an out of court settlement for possibly around $500,000. Father Frederick James Mulica’s name appears on the June 2019 Cleveland Diocese list.

Current Status: Deceased


Muzic, Anthony J.

Ordained: 1963
In 1993, Father Anthony J. Muzic was named in a civil lawsuit on accusations that he plied the plaintiff and other victims with alcohol before sexually molesting them in a drunken state. Church officials placed Reverend Muzic on a leave of absence after the lawsuit was filed. Reports from April 2002 revealed that the Diocese of Cleveland failed to include the name of Father Muzic on a list of religious leaders accused of sexual misconduct. Church officials did not believe that the accusations filed against him were credible. The plaintiff in the case dropped a lawsuit because of issues associated with the Ohio statute of limitation. The Church allowed Muzic to retire from the priesthood.

Current Status: Died: 2010


Nealon, Daniel J.

Ordained: 1981
In April 2002, the Diocese of Cleveland released the name of Father Daniel J. Nealon as a religious leader that was no longer in active ministry due to accusations of past sexual molestation involving children. Reverend Nealon faced allegations that he sexually molested a thirteen-year-old deaf boy during the late 1980s. At the time, Father Nealon was still a priest. The Reverend denied the allegations and told others that the investigation exonerated him of all charges. Numerous directories from the Catholic Church reveal that the priest remains absent on leave.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


O’Connor, Patrick J.

Ordained: 1985
In September 2003, Church officials removed Father Patrick J. O’Connor from active ministry after the Diocese of Cleveland Review Board found the evidence that he had sexually assaulted a child to be credible. The alleged incident occurred at the Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio St. Joseph’s Parish during the late 1980s after Reverend O’Connor’s ordination into the Roman Catholic Church. By 2003, he was working as Borromeo Seminary teacher. In September 2007, the Vatican cleared him of the allegations and allowed him to return to active ministry with restrictions. After accusations arose of sexual assault involving a fifteen-year-old male in 1997, Father O’Brien resigned from the priesthood. The Grand Jury indicted him on charges in August 2009. He pled guilty to the charge of the following month. By December 2009, the court sentenced O’Brien to ninety days in jail. In July 2011, his accuser filed a civil lawsuit. The Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) O’Brien. His name appears on the June 2019 Cleveland Diocese list.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Powers, Thomas J.

Ordained: 1972
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Father Thomas J. Powers with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. Church documents note that there were multiple accusations of sexual abuse that happened in the 1970s while Reverend Powers was assigned to the Cleveland, OH Saint Ignatius High School. Other accusations of sexual misconduct allegedly occurred at John Carroll University between 1973 and 1978, and at the Cuyahoga Falls, OH Walsh Jesuit High School between 1985 and 1986. Reports indicate that sexual abuse involving Father Powers also occurred at the Clarkston, MI Columbiere Center. In September 2001, the priest dismissed the allegations.

Current Status: Died: 1974


Rebol, Anthony

Ordained: 1956
In 1992, the Roman Catholic Church had Father Anthony Rebol evaluated and treated after an allegation arose involving sexual misconduct that occurred in 1963. Reverend Rebol was allowed to return to active ministry until his retirement in 1998. In April 2002, Church officials of the Diocese of Cleveland placed Rebol on leave with nine other religious leaders because of allegations involving sexual abuse. His name appears on the June 2019 Cleveland Diocese list.

Current Status: Deceased


Rebovich, John

Ordained: 1967
In 1975, Church officials became aware of allegations accusing Father John Rebovich of sexual misconduct that involve the solicitation of an altar boy for oral sex. The victim spoke to Catholic Byzantine Passaic Diocese officials in 1978. However, nothing was done to stop the Reverend’s behavior. Within a few months, the Church transferred the priest to the Byzantine Catholic Parma Diocese. In 1990, a filed civil lawsuit revealed allegations that Father Rebovich raped a Parma Diocese altar boy. The document accuses Church officials of covering up the case when they were first notified of the problem in 1984. In 1990, Rebovich was placed on administrative leave. Three more alleged victims filed a civil lawsuit in 1992. The 2018 Harrisburg Diocese lists John Rebovich with notations involving allegations of sexual abuse of a minor when he worked there during the 1970s. Father John Rebovich’s name is on the December 2018 Diocese of Scranton list.

Current Status: Deceased


Romansky, Joseph A.

Ordained: 1975
In 1985, Father Joseph A. Romansky faced allegations of playing strip poker with underage males. He allegedly offered his victims money to masturbate in front of them, fondle them, and perform oral sex. One of the victim’s mother’s received a car, a job, and a condominium from Reverend Romansky. The priest pled guilty to charges and received a probationary sentence. Church officials then sent Father Romansky to receive treatment at St. Luke’s. In 1988, the Diocese of Biloxi Bishop invited Reverend Romansky to work in a local Parish in Mississippi. At the time, Bishop Howze in Mississippi knew of Romansky’s history of inappropriate sexual behavior in Ohio. After four years, the Bishop reassigned Romansky back to the Diocese of Cleveland. The Church settled at least two filed civil lawsuits with victims in 1991. Up until 2002, Romansky worked in a nursing facility before being placed on leave. By September 2002, Romansky was named in at least three other filed civil lawsuits. Some reports indicate that Romansky had sexually molested dozens of male and female African-American teenagers between 1975 and 1995. In 2002, two other religious leaders stepped forward, saying that they had informed the Diocese of Cleveland of Romansky’s inappropriate sexual conduct in 1975.

Current Status: Died: 2004


Rooney, Donald

Ordained: 1979
In April 2002, Father Donald Rooney committed suicide after Church officials asked the Reverend to come to the offices of the Diocese of Cleveland to talk. The officials wanted to discuss allegations that he sexually assaulted an underage female in 1980. Four alleged victims and the father of another victim accused Reverend Rooney of similar charges. In June 2002, one of the victims filed a class-action lawsuit accusing Rooney of sexually assaulting her and about twenty female classmates of hers during the 1984/1985 school year. Another alleged sexual abuse survivor accused Father Donald Rooney of groping and kissing her. The Ohio court system denied the lawsuits. The lower court’s decision was upheld by the Court of Appeals.

Current Status: Died by suicide: 2002


Ruglovsky, Robert

Ordained: 1961
Father Robert Ruglovsky faced allegations of sexually assaulting at least seven underage males. The first cases of abuse allegedly occurred in Michigan and Ohio. Reverend Ruglovsky was reassigned to Minnesota, where he sexually molested six other male children. In 1987, Minnesota law enforcement filed criminal charges against Father Ruglovsky. The Reverend received a one-year jail sentence followed by fifteen years of probation. The judge ordered him to participate in the sex offender program. In 1988, two more lawsuits were filed in Minnesota. In 1994, Father Ruglovsky’s name appeared in a filed civil lawsuit from California. A news report dated 1988 revealed Ruglovsky’s admission to sexually abusing numerous underage males over a two-decade period. The Reverend’s name appears in the May 2014 Saint Paul Archdiocese list of religious leaders with credible allegations of sexual misconduct.

Current Status: Charge and convicted of sexual molestation


Rupp, Edward F.

Ordained: 1960
Father Edward F. Rupp’s name appears in a 1994 filed civil lawsuit. An alleged victim (the plaintiff) accused Reverend Rupp of sexual molestation on numerous occasions during the late 1960s to the early 1970s. At the time of the alleged assault, the victim was a teenager. The plaintiff alleges that the priest was an alcoholic who sexually assaulted other parishioners. Documents reveal that Father Rupp was counseled for alcoholism. After the charges were revealed, Church officials reassigned Reverend Rupp to receive an evaluation and counseling for his condition. In 1998, the Ohio court system dismissed the lawsuit. In June 2007, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Rupp. Afterward, the Church ordered Father Rupp to live a life of prayer and penance. His name appears on the June 2019 Diocese of Cleveland list.

Current Status: Deceased


Schuerger, Anthony

Ordained: 1977
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Father Anthony Schuerger with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. The Diocese of Cleveland Review Board was investigating the allegations against him. Church documents reveal that officials placed Reverend Schuerger on administrative leave until the investigation involving allegations of sexual misconduct was completed.

Current Status:


Seminatore, Joseph J.

Ordained: 1969
In 2002, Church officials from the Parmadale Family Services facility placed Father Joseph J. Seminatore on administrative leave after allegations arose that he sexually molested a child. In response to the harm of sexual molestation, the facility offered to treat children with emotional issues. The priest denied the accusations. In September 2002, three accusers filed a civil lawsuit alleging that Reverend Seminatore had sexually molested them. The following month, the Reverend filed a counter lawsuit, claiming conspiracy. The court dismissed the plaintiffs’ lawsuit because the statute of limitations had expired. In 2006, the Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal. Seminatore‘s counter lawsuit was also dismissed by the court. In October 2015, the Diocese of Cleveland announced they had ended the Reverend’s administrative leave and granted him retirement. Just before, the Church tribunal determined the charges filed against him were not confirmed. His name appears on the June 2019 Cleveland Diocese’s list. The report listed allegations against Seminatore involving child molestation. The Church permanently removed from active ministry.

Current Status: Retired from active ministry


Slapsak, Julius

Ordained: 1925
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Father Julius Slapsak with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim.

Current Status: Deceased


Tomicky, Ronald

Ordained: 1975
A news article dated April 2002 revealed that Church officials removed Father Ronald Tomicky from active ministry because accusations arose of his past inappropriate sexual activities involving children. Church documents reveal that officials placed Reverend Tomicky between 1984 and 1987, and again between 1988 and 1989. Tomicky retired from active ministry in 1989. Reverend Tomicky’s name appears on the 2019 Diocese of Cleveland list and reveals his retirement with permanent and total disabilities, but without faculties for public ministry. The document reveals that his ministry was restricted because of the allegation of inappropriate sexual activity that had not yet been determined to be credible.

Current Status: Retired from active ministry


Van Trieste, Martin

Ordained: 1945
In June 2002, Father Martin Van Trieste was named in a civil lawsuit with allegations that he sexually assaulted two underage males years before. The alleged victims were members of the Hispanic boys touring singing group called the Little Martins. By 2002, eighty-seven-year-old Reverend Van Trieste had dementia and was living at a nursing home in Maryland. In September of that year, three other men joined the civil lawsuit.

Current Status: Died: 2007


Viall, James A.

Ordained: 1954
In 2002, Church officials of the Diocese of Cleveland placed Father James A. Viall on leave of absence after allegations arose of the priest sexually assaulting children. In July 2002, a civil lawsuit named Reverend Viall as a sexual molester. The suit was filed by a former altar boy. Afterward, another man stepped forward accusing Father Viall of sexually assaulting him when he was an altar boy. One plaintiff claimed that sexual abuse occurred during the mid-1950s. The other alleged victim stated that his abuse occurred during the 1970s. By September 2002, the Ohio Child Protective Services agency found no credible evidence to support the molestation. However, the Diocese of Cleveland continued to investigate the case. Viall retired from active ministry in 2005 without privileges. He remained on a leave of absence until he died in July 2018.

Current Status: Retired from active ministry


Weaver, Jeffrey M.

Ordained: 1982
Reports of a Diocese of Cleveland memo revealed that Father Jeffrey M. Weaver participated in “sexual exploitation” of underage males. Allegedly, Reverend Weaver waited until the boys reached their eighteenth year before making sexual advances toward them. The memo stated that the priest spoke with minors about sex when he attended the seminary. Weaver admitted he was gay and made himself available to the children sexually. A memo dated 1996 revealed that a child reported to the Cleveland Diocese that the Reverend gave him alcohol, attempted French kissing, and rubbed the victim’s thighs toward his penis. The priest acknowledged he had “one regretful advance” toward a child. It 2002, his accuser stated during an interview that his sexual assault occurred just after turning eighteen years of age. The alleged sexual abuse survivor stated that Weaver was grooming him for sex. In 2002, Church officials of the Diocese of Cleveland placed Reverend Weaver on leave of absence. One decade later in 2012, the Cleveland Diocese Bishop allowed Weaver to return to active ministry. Weaver’s name appears on the 2001 diocese list.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


Weber, David C.

Ordained: 1977
In 2002, Church officials of the Diocese of Cleveland placed Father David C. Weber on leave of absence due to past allegations that he sexually assaulted an underage male. Reverend Weber was known to be in Cleveland Diocese Bishop Pilla’s inner circle. The Roman Catholic Church did not release Father Weber’s name among religious leaders with credible accusations of sexual assault until the press pressured the Diocese of Cleveland. Weber, and other religious leaders, asked the court to block Church officials at the Diocese from giving their past medical records to the District Attorney’s Office. In 2002, a Grand Jury investigated the charges against the priest. In August 2016, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Weber.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Wernet, Carl

Ordained: 1932
In 1992, Father Carl Wernet faced allegations that he sexually assaulted an underage female. When the victim’s father confronted Reverend Father Carl Wernet, the priest acknowledged he committed the abuse. However, the Diocese of Cleveland denied any part of the case. When the sexual abuse survivor spoke publicly by distributing posters, seven other female accusers stepped forward. In September 2003, all eight women participated in the civil lawsuit accusing Reverend Wernet of sexual abuse occurring between 1953 and 1967. In February 1997, the lawsuit was dismissed due to the expiration of the Ohio statute of limitations. Afterward, twenty-one other accusers, including both men and women, stepped forward making allegations against Reverend Father Carl Wernet. In 1980, Church officials destroyed the priest’s personnel file after his death. A victim’s parents acknowledge that they had filed the complaint with the Cleveland Diocese before the priest died. Father Carl Wernet’s name appears on the 2019 Diocese Of Cleveland list.

Current Status: Died: 1980


Williams, Joseph N.

Ordained: 1969
In December 2008, local law enforcement charged Father Joseph N. Williams with raping an eight-year-old child in 1992. After his conviction, the court sentenced Williams to a life in prison without parole. Evidence proved that the rape happened in a nursing facility where the child was visiting family. During his career, Reverend Williams served the congregation as a Lorain Catholic High School chaplain. Evidence also showed that he also sexually abused a twelve-year-old male for three years starting in 1984. During the trial, the priest admitted to “sexual trysts” involving other adult males and some children. In May 2016, Father Williams lost his appeal. Decades before, during the late 1970s, Reverend Williams left active priesthood to become a lawyer. In 2019, Diocese of Cleveland Church officials permanently removed Reverend Williams from active ministry. His name appears on the Cleveland 2019 Diocese list.

Current Status: Convicted of rape


Wirks, Dennis T.

Ordained: 1969
In April 2002, the Diocese of Cleveland released Father Dennis T. Wirks’ name among other priests with credible evidence of sexually assaulting minors in the past. Reverend Wirks was among three accused religious leaders who were assigned to work at the Avon Lake, OH St. Joseph’s Parish. In June 2019, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Wirks.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Wittreich, John

Ordained: 1947
In 2018, the Diocese of Cleveland publicly named Father John Wittreich with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim.

Current Status: Deceased


Wolff, Robert C.

Ordained: 1950
In 2003, Father Robert C. Wolff was named in a civil lawsuit concerning allegations of sexual misconduct.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


Zuccarelli, Lisa

Ordained: n/a
In July 2018, an alleged female victim of Sister Lisa Zuccarelli made accusations that the nun sexually assaulted her in 1982. At the time of the alleged sexual molestation, the victim was a Lancaster, OH Fisher Catholic High School student. Lisa Zuccarelli received her first assignment in 1975 as a Member of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. After the accusations arose, the Order removed the nun from active ministry. She was restricted from unsupervised contact with former students and children. Between 1980 and 1985, Sister Zuccarelli was a Fisher High School teacher. Before that assignment, the nun was a DeSales High School teacher between 1975 and 1977 and a Steubenville, OH Catholic Central High School teacher between 1978 and 1980. From 1995 until 1999, she was teaching at the School of Nursing at Georgetown University. From 1996 until 2002, she served as a chaplain at Darnell Hall and St. Mary’s Hall. Until 2003, she served the Roman Catholic Church as the Director of Academic Enrichment and Student Life. From 2003, until she was removed from her position in 2018, she was a Rhode Island Salve Regina University professor. The Dominican Sisters of Peace deemed the accusations against her to be credible.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct

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