Many people are drawn to the Catholic Church because their leaders, with the guidance of Pope Francis, provide instructions of faith through services in the community. The Church sets high standards for their faithful, using words from the Bible that remain fundamentally unchanged. Sadly, many priests abuse their authority of trust to harm others through sexual assault and molestation.
Over the last seventy years, the Church and religious orders have hidden documents that name religious leaders with credible accusations of sexually assaulting innocent victims. These leaders include bishops, cardinals, deacons, brothers, nuns, and laypersons.
It is not uncommon for a person in power that has authority over others to use that power against others. Vulnerable children and adults are most at risk of being injured through sexual assault. The abuse could happen anywhere, including at a place of worship, Christian summer camp, daycare centers, Bible study class, Sunday school, or any other church-related function.
Diocese of Greensburg Sexual Abuse Attorney
The Catholic Church in the United States has paid out over $3.8 billion to victims of sexual abuse to resolve their claims of abuse occurred by those in positions of religious authority at nearly every level. By Church doctrine, these religious leaders are required to provide an atmosphere of compassion and acceptance. However, many of their victims of abuse were left in shame and fear.
If you or your loved one is a sexual abuse survivor, harmed by a priest or other religious leader, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC today to discuss your case in a confidential setting. Our law firm understands the pain you are feeling and the unique dynamics of going up against the Church. We provide all our clients with compassionate, empathetic support to help take legal action against church officials and the predator.
Why Victims Remain Silent
Many young and old parishioners develop a close and trusting relationship that connects their spirituality to God through their church leader. When victimized by those in the authority of guiding their faith, molestation survivors often remain fearful and intimidated that their abuser could assault them again. Many of the sexual assault survivors are victims of abuse, sodomy, and rape by an elder in the Church or a layperson, teacher, or coach.
It often takes years or decades for a victim to speak out to say what happened and confront the predator. It takes bravery to stand up to authority to ensure that the Church and predator are held accountable.
Breaking Down Barriers to Obtain Church Information
Over the last two decades, sexual abuse advocates have identified many clergy members facing accusations of inappropriate sexual contact. The list for the Diocese of Greensburg contains the names of twenty-four priests and brothers with credible allegations against them filed by alleged sexual abuse survivors. This list is just a small portion of the 575 priests and other religious leaders in Pennsylvania dioceses who were accused or found guilty of sexual assault involving children and young adults.
In response to an overwhelming problem, the Diocese of Greenberg developed the Comprehensive Reconciliation Initiative to assist sexual assault victims harmed by clergy members. Program administrators are providing opportunities for sexual abuse survivors to obtain pastoral care, spiritual guidance, and counseling.
List of Priests and Other Church Officials in the Diocese of Greensburg
Bonafed, Joseph E.
Reverend Bonafed freely resigned his pastoral duties at Saint Edward’s parish after allegations of child sex abuse dating back nearly three decades arose.
Current Status: Removed from duties
Clark, James W.
The Diocese found credible, substantiated evidence that Reverend Clark involved in inappropriate sexual behavior before entering the seminary and being ordained.
Current Status: Removed from Active Ministry in 2018
In 2004, a victim filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Greensburg alleging sexual assault by Reverend Dellamalva during the 1970s. Documents claim that the priest fondled the boy’s penis while sharing a bed.
Current Status: Died 1994
In 2004, an allegation of abuse was made involving Father Flohr in 1967 when the victim, an altar boy, was approximately ten or eleven years old at the Immaculate Conception School. The abuse lasted for one year. The church paid for the victim’s therapy sessions and hospital treatments totaling more than $50,000 in 2005 to 2007.
Current Status: Died 2004
Greensburg Priest #1
The diocese found credible evidence of an undisclosed priest who participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. Part of the evidence was a November 1962 memo written by Bishop Connar, alleging sexual abuse of the priest with a boy.
Current Status: Dismissed
Gruber, Mark F. X.
In 2010, the diocese suspended the priest who served as a professor at St. Vincent College for allegedly downloading child pornography on the college computer. In 2012, the priest refused to vacate the Abbey after the Vatican ordered him to spend his remaining days in prayer and pennants outside the Abbey.
Current Status: Removed from the ministry and not allowed to claim he is a priest or celebrate the sacraments in public
Guth, Charles B.
The diocese found credible evidence years after Father Guth’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. One man came forward in July 2005, saying the priest sexually abused him when he was seven years old in West Newton.
Current Status: Died in 1986
Kawecki, Andrew M.
In 2019, the diocese placed the priest from Poland and ordained at the diocese on leave while law enforcement investigates a serious allegation of criminal sexual abuse with a minor. Inappropriate sexual behavior allegedly occurred 15 years before.
Current Status: Placed on Leave (5/2019)
Lesniak, Francis M.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Lesniak and a thirteen-year-old boy in 1977. The victim alleges that the priest invited him to a sleepover for altar boys but found out he was there alone when the priest fondled him. A civil lawsuit was settled in January 2006 for $5000 and ninety counseling sessions. In 2004, another boy came forward alleging sexual assault in 1962 that occurred when the boy stayed overnight at the rectory. Additional victims came forward, including one who stated that Father Lesniak performed oral sex on him during a picnic and that the sexual assault continued after he became an altar boy. The victim said that the priest gave him so much wine that he became an alcoholic at twelve years of age.
Current Status: Died 1991
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Lukac and multiple teenage girls while the priest was assigned to Greensburg diocese in the 1950s. In 1956, the priest impregnated a seventeen-year-old girl and married her the following year. That year, the church sent the priest to the Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico treatment. The priest divorced his wife in December 1957 and accepted ministry on a “trial basis” in Gary Indiana. Additional accusations arose of inappropriate behavior with girls when teaching at a Hammond, Indiana high school between 1961 and 1963. While at a Chicago rectory in 1963/64, Lukac was accused of abusing an eleven-year-old girl.
Current Status: In 2018, listed on the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese list
Marcinek, Henry J.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Marcinek years after his death. In November 2007, the diocese was notified of an allegation from a man who said the priest sexually abused him starting around 1972 when he was a ten-year-old student. The sexual assault lasted until the early 1980s with incidents occurring at the rectory, at the priest’s cabin and on trips to Niagara Falls, Sea World, and Ohio. The brother of the alleged victim stated that the family was poor and accepted gifts, money, and a car provided by Father Marcinek. The diocese settled with the victim for $10,000 and counseling sessions.
Current Status: Died 1987
Matusak, Michael W.
The diocese found credible evidence years after Monsignor Matusak’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor twenty years before. A second allegation arose in 2019 involving sexual abuse of an underage female minor occurring from 1973 through 1976. At that time, Matusak was a deacon who harassed and stalked her for nearly two decades. The Monsignor retired in June 2019 and passed away four months later.
Current Status: Died 10/2019
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Moslener who served as a parish priest and teacher. The reverend admitted to “inappropriate behavior in 1979 and 1980 involving incidents with a fifteen-year-old boy. The church sent Moslener away for treatment but allowed him to return to ministry. In 1986, middle school children informed the diocese that Moslener asked his religion class if they masturbated. The church sent him out again for evaluation. The diocese told the police in April 1986 what occurred, which started an investigation into Moslener having sex with juveniles. In 1987, accusations arose that the priest was involved with underage boys in North Huntingdon and St. Joseph’s in New Kensington. The church allowed the priest to remain in the ministry. He became Pastor of several parishes between 1992 and 2006. Other victims came forward to accuse the priest of sexual abuse of children.
Current Status: Unknown
Nyeste, John J.
In 2018, a possible victim alleged Reverend Nyeste at Saint Emory’s in Connellsville, PA, when he was an eleven-year-old altar boy. The man indicated that the abuse happened in the mountains at Nyeste’s farmhouse. The victim said that the priest gave him wine causing him to pass out and, upon awakening, found the Reverend on top of him. The diocese offered the priest’s accuser a settlement that had not yet been accepted.
Current Status: Died 5/1987
Oris, Fabian G.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Oris. In 2002, a possible victim told the diocese that Oris engaged in sexual molestation while working at Saint Hedwig in Smock, PA when the victim was possibly four or five and twelve years old. The woman stated that the priest also sexually assaulted her older sister when she was in elementary school up to fifth grade when the priest was a close friend of their parents. The girl’s parents allowed both sisters to stay with Hedwig, where he would make them share his bed with them. A second female victim came forward in 2014 and alleged Hedwig was inappropriate toward her in 1977 or 1978 when she was ten or eleven years of age. The priest would kiss her on the mouth when she was sent to the St. Mary’s in Uniontown Rectory for discipline by the school principal.
Current Status: Died 2007
Pierce, George R.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Pierce. In 1997, a possible victim alleged that Pierce sexually assaulted her beginning in 1968 between the time she was twelve and twenty years of age while attending Saint Gertrude’s in Aultman. In 1972, parishioners at Holy Family formally complained to the diocese that young women were staying overnight at the parish rectory. The Bishop became aware that the priest was involved with the “particular female” and had developed a relationship. Pierce acknowledged the relationship but downplayed it. The church ordered the priest to attend treatment for six months beginning in November 1997 before he retired in August 1998 with faculties removed. A lawsuit was filed in October 2019, claiming Pierce had raped an eleven-year-old girl for five years beginning in 1973.
Current Status: Died 2009
Premoshis, Gregory F.
In March 2002, the diocese received a report alleging that Premoshis sexually assaulted an underage male student in 1980/82 who attended Geibel High School. The victim said that the priest plied him with alcohol, gave him gifts, and took him on trips acting as his “surrogate father.” The church removed Premoshis as president of the high school and permanently barred him from public ministry in 2002. That same year, a criminal lawsuit was filed but dismissed the following year due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Law enforcement never filed criminal charges. The church did reach a settlement with the victim for $5000 and ninety paid counseling sessions.
Current Status: Retired
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Sanesi. In 2002, the diocese learned that Sanesi allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted an underage male in the early 1960s while the boy was a St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary student. In 2013, another victim who had been at the same seminary alleged that the priest had sexually assaulted him in 1962/63.
Current Status: Died 1992
Sinclair, Roger A.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Father Sinclair. The report indicates that as early as May 1981, the diocese was aware that Sinclair sexually assaulted two 14-year-old boys the year before. The incident had been reported to the pastor at St. Mary’s in Kittanning, but the church took no action. Rev. Klinzing deterred one victim’s mother from filing a report with the police. However, the mothers of other victims told the Chief of Police who stated he had heard rumors and had talked with the parish pastor, but law enforcement took no action. The church placed Rev. Sinclair on leave before reassigning him as a military chaplain in five other states. The Topeka State Hospital fired Rev. Sinclair in 1991 after he “managed to gain access to a locked unit deceitfully” while attempting to take male teenage patients to the movies. The church removed Rev. Sinclair. He was arrested in Oregon in 2017 for abusing a young disabled male.
Current Status: Arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for sexual assault
Sredzinski, Joseph L.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Sredzinski. In May 1991, police found Sredzinski in a parked car in a cemetery at night with a young boy. The town mayor spoke with church officials about community concerns that Sredzinski was spending too much time with underage children. In 1991, an allegation of misconduct arose concerning the priest swimming with the boy and inappropriate touching when the child was with him on a drive to Cleveland. The boy’s father prohibited the priest from having contact with his son. In 2002, a woman accused the priest of abuse with her relative in Brownsville, PA, in 1985.
Current Status: Died 2015
Sweeney, John Thomas
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Father Sweeney. The priest is known to have worked in Apollo, Freeport, Greensburg, Latrobe, Lower Burrell, Smock, and West Newton parishes. In July 2017, police arrested Reverend Sweeney charging him with “involuntary deviant sexual intercourse” in 1991/92 with a fourth- grade male while at Saint Margaret Mary in Lower Burrell. The accuser reported to the police that the priest had called him into his office after he misbehaved on the school bus. At that time, the Reverend forced the schoolboy to perform oral sex on him. Sweeney warned the boy that he would get in trouble if he told anyone. The victim said after the abuse was over, the priest’s secretary brought in milk and cookies. In July 2018, the priest pled guilty and was sentenced up to 11.5 years in state prison. Sweeney must register as a sex offender for ten years.
Current Status: Retired 12/2016
Tamilowski, Joseph A.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Tamilowski. In 2002, a possible victim accused the priest of inappropriately touching him in the 1960s while he was an altar boy at Mission of Saint Mary and Assumption Parish in Leechburg. The accuser stated that before 2002 he told the diocese office manager that he had been abused. The manager responded to “not rock the boat.” Another man filed suit in October 2018, claiming Reverend Tamilowski abused him for three years beginning in 1978 while he was a St. Hyacinth in Monessen. An additional lawsuit had been filed in 2018 by another man that alleges the priest sexually abused him at the same church in the 1970s when he was between fourteen and eighteen years old.
Current Status: Died 1994
Trott, Roger J.
In 1997, Reverend Trott was charged for criminal sexual abuse involving as many as a dozen underage males. At the time, Trott was pastor at St. John’s in Delmont, PA. After pleading guilty on one count of abuse, he received five years’ probation. Additionally, he was to receive treatment as a condition of his probation and pay a $10,000 fine. The diocese sent Trott to St. Luke’s in Maryland. In April 2002, another allegation arose of abuse involving an altar boy in 1973, when the child was ten years old. The charge included repeated rape. In 2005, a civil lawsuit was filed claiming abuse that occurred between 1973 and 1976. That case settled for $130,000. The church defrocked Trott in 2004.
Current Status: Died 2017
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Weber. In May 2015, allegations arose accusing Weber of sexually assaulting a young boy in the early 1980s when the child was 11 to 13 years old. The abuse allegedly occurred at Saint Gertrude’s in Vandergrift. The victim states that the priest gave a lecture to children concerning “impure thoughts and actions,” and afterward, when the boy and the priest were alone, Weber fondled the child’s genitals.
Current Status: Died 2000
2018 Grand Jury Report
In August 2018, the Pennsylvania grand jury released a report revealing six Catholic dioceses throughout Pennsylvania with sex offenders that had credible allegations of inappropriate sexual contact involving minors. In response, the Diocese of Greenberg Bishop released a statement listing twenty-one priests in their community. The Bishop’s statement indicated that many of the names on the list would be familiar to the congregation.
The grand jury report prompted federal and local authorities to look into the decades of an ongoing scandal within the Catholic Church. Some dioceses throughout Pennsylvania had no other option than to release information involving allegations of inappropriate sexual contact that have been previously unreported. The grand jury investigators reviewed Church records and documents in parishes throughout Pennsylvania, including the Diocese of Greensburg, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Pittsburgh Diocese, and Diocese of Allentown.
The details that were released were unsettling. In many incidents, the Bishops had reassigned the predatory priest to a new parish, new Diocese, or sent him out of state. The efforts of the Church helped protect the priest’s reputation by hiding that he was a sexual predator while disregarding the life of the victim.
Sexual Molestation of Children and Young Adults
Not all indicators of sexual abuse happening to minors and young adults are visible. However, parents, family, and friends need to know the warning signs of molestation that often include:
- An unexplained negative change in personality
- Anger issues
- Unusual sexual behavior
- Ongoing depression
- Unexplained disconnect from family and friends
- Engaging in nonsocial behavior or criminal activity
If you suspect that your loved one was sexually abused by a bishop, cardinal, parish pastor, priest, or another religious leader, taking immediate action is essential to their health. Your place of worship should be a safe environment for every member of the congregation, including your friends, family, and children. Sadly, predator priests target many young adults, teenagers, and minor children in their congregation while at school, Church, in the confessional, or serving as an altar boy.
An attorney working on your behalf can help you participate in the compensation fund initiated by the Diocese of Greensburg. This program was designed to make a tremendous impact on correcting the dangerous environment created by a lack of accountability in handling predatory priests.
Hiring a Diocese of Greensburg Sexual Abuse Attorney
If you or your loved one is the victim of molestation, rape, sodomy, or other heinous sexual assault by a priest or other religious leader, contact us today. Let us schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your case. With a Pennsylvania Church sexual abuse attorney on your side, we can ensure a successful resolution of your compensation case.
Our compassionate law firm understands the delicate nature of your case and the difficulty you will have in discussing details. We will provide a safe environment and listen to your story to ensure you get the justice you deserve. We accept every case through a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement ensures that you pay for services only after we have successfully resolved your case through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.