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Scranton Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Scranton-Diocese-Clergy-Abuse-LookupMany parishioners are drawn to the Roman Catholic Church to receive guidance and instruction on expressing their faith. They attend Mass to hear teachings, share Holy Communion, and follow their faith journey with the congregation. Unfortunately, allegations of abuse involving a Catholic diocese has become a severe problem in the United States and worldwide.

For decades, Church officials have stonewalled efforts to publicize the names of predatory priests or take efforts to ensure the children remain safe in Church, school, and other activities. Cardinals, Bishops, Pastors, other priests, deacons, and sisters have failed to report accusations of clerical abuse. Most cases of sexual assault in the Church are never reported to local law enforcement.

It often takes months or years for victims of sexual abuse to come forward to speak about what happened. In response, it may be years before the Diocese Review Board verifies the credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor or turn the information over to a grand jury investigation. By that time, the statute of limitations might have expired, limiting the legal options the sexual abuse survivor has to seek justice.

Scranton Diocese Sexual Abuse Attorneys Can Maximize Your Compensation

With our years of experience, the attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC assist victims of sexual abuse in a Pennsylvania church, ensuring they receive monetary compensation for their injuries. To date, we have collected over $250 million in negotiated settlements and jury trial verdicts on behalf of our clients. We handle every case through a contingency fee arrangement. This agreement ensures you will be charged legal fees only after we have successfully resolved your case. Personal injury is all we do.

After the release of a statewide grand jury report, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton developed a compensation fund (Independent Survivor Compensation Program). The new compensation program was created to assist survivors of sexual abuse, including those who already filed legal action against the Church. Other programs were created outside of Scranton and Northeast Pennsylvania, including in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Diocese of Harrisburg.

Children Are at Greatest Risk of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Most sexual abuse survivors were under eighteen years of age when the horrific event or events involving a member of the Diocesan clergy occurred. While some predatory priests are removed from active ministry and placed on administrative leave, others are allow6ed to stay around their sexual abuse victims without supervision.

The Roman Catholic Church, under the guidance of Pope Francis, often fails to protect victims of sexual abuse. Most of these survivors were harmed by Church leaders, including the Bishop, pastor, parish priest, brother, deacon, nun, or other religious leaders or laypersons.

The list below details information of religious leaders in the Diocese of Scranton with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor or young adult. This information was gathered by the Diocese, the Pennsylvania Catholic Church, the Vatican under Pope Francis, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (Snap).

Names of Priest & Other Church Officials in the Diocese of Scranton

Altavilla, Phillip A.

Ordained: 1992

An adult woman alleged that Rev. Altavilla indecently assaulted her as a 13-year-old teen in 1998. The Diocese of Scranton suspended the Reverend after his arrest and kept them on a leave of absence until charges were dropped.

Current Status: Charges dropped

_________________________________________________________________________

Angelo, Girard F.

Ordained: 1955

In 2002, an adult male accused Reverend Angelo of sexual abuse, when the resident was assistant pastor at Mater Delorosa in Williamsport. The victim was 14 years old at the time of the incident. Angelo denied the allegation. In 2018, the Diocese of Scranton credibly accused Angela after findings by a PA grand jury report, nine years after Angelo died.

Current Status: Died 2009

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Balczeniuk/Balzceniuk, Mark G.

Ordained: 1983

In August 2018, the Diocese of Scranton credibly accused Father Balczeniuk of sexually assaulting a mentally slow young adult male. The Catholic Church removed the priest from ministry to attend treatment. He admitted to inappropriate behavior with young boys while a counselor at Camp Saint Andrew.

Current Status: Returned to Columbia 11/1989

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Bonner, Joseph P.

Ordained: 1953

In 2002, an attorney notified the Diocese of Scranton that Father Bonner sexually molested his client in 1975. Although the diocese stated in 2002, it would not compensate the victim; the church settled with the victim in 2003.

Current Status: Died 2007

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Boylan, Martin M.

Ordained: 1980

A graduate Marywood College student alleged that the campus chaplain, Reverend Boylan, propositioned him for sex in 1993. In 2016, an 18-year-old male accused the priest of sexual abuse occurring ten years earlier.

Current Status: Suspended from priestly ministry

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Brague, Robert J.

Ordained: 1970

Initially, the priest denied a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female who later became pregnant and gave birth to a child in April 1989. The Diocese of Scranton settled a lawsuit with the victim in 1995.

Current Status: Died 1997

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Brennan, Francis T.

Ordained: 1954

In 2010, a senior citizen reported to the Diocese of Scranton that he had been sexually abused by Father Brennan when he was a boy of 15 or 16 years of age while serving the church as an altar boy.

Current Status: Died 1974

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Bucolo, Joseph

Ordained: 1954

In 2010, a now 64-year-old male reported he was sexually abused by the priest when eight years old while serving as an altar boy. He said Reverend Bucolo committed inappropriate sexual acts with him while on a two-day vacation decades ago. A lawsuit filed by the victim settled for $20,000.

Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry

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Burns, Gerald J.

Ordained: 1950

In 1994, credible evidence arose that Monsignor Burns sexually molested an altar boy in the 1950s at St. John’s. The priest agreed to pay for the victim’s therapy but died in 1999 before making payments.

Current Status: Died 1999

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Burns, Leo A.

Ordained: 1947

The Diocese claims there is credible evidence involving Reverend Burns’ sexual impropriety after his death in 1999.

Current Status: Died 1999

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Caparelli, Robert N.

Ordained: 1964

The priest reported to the Diocese of Scranton that Reverend Caparelli had contributed to the delinquency of two altar boys ages 11 and 12. The boys’ mother was afraid to talk to the church in fear of repercussions. Two lawsuits were settled out of court.

Current Status: Sentence to 2.5 to 5 years in prison. Died in prison 12/94

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Capparelli, Robert

Ordained: 1964

In 2018, the Diocese of Scranton found credible evidence of sexual misconduct involving a Parish priest Reverend Capparelli, fourteen years after his death.

Current Status: Died 1994

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Clay, Christopher R.

Ordained: 1998

In 2014, Reverend Clay was part of an ecclesiastical judicial process authorized by the Vatican involving an investigation into the molestation of a child. The priest maintained his innocence.

Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry

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Conmy, Anthony P.

Ordained: 1953

In 2008, a 49-year-old female told the diocese she was sexually assaulted by Reverend Conmy when she was ten years old. The priest allegedly performed oral sex on her.

Current Status: Died 3/1979

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Crynes, J. Peter

Ordained: 1967

In 2006, an allegation of a female being sexually abused by Monsignor Crynes between 1974 and 1977 arose. The abuse started when the victim was 17 years old. The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith pushed to remove the priest from public ministry.

Current Status: Resigned 2006

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Deviney, Raymond L.

Ordained: 1959

An adult female victim alleged the priest sexually abused her while she was a teenager in high school. Years later, the woman confided in the priest after losing her baby and husband. At that time, she alleged that the priest violated her again. Church files indicate the allegations were unsubstantiated.

Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry

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Dorsey, Donald J.

Ordained: 1955

The diocese found credible evidence years after the priest’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 2007

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Dzurko, John J.

Ordained: 1932

The diocese found credible evidence years after the priest’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. One victim stated Reverend Dzurko sexually abused her at age eleven in 1957.

Current Status: Died 1991

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Ensey, Eric

Ordained: 1995

Reverend Ensey was accused of sexually inappropriate behavior with the 16-year-old male student who sued in March 2003 and settled out of court two years later for $455,000. The priest relocated to Paraguay the following year.

Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry

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Farry, James F.

Ordained: 1946

In 2006, a former resident of St. Michael’s School for Boys notified the Diocese he had been sexually abused from 1953 to 1954 and identified the perpetrator as Rev. Farry. The diocese paid for the man’s counseling.

Current Status: Died 1990

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Fedor, James F.

Ordained: 1973

Reverend Fedor sought counseling from 1981 to 1986 for self-concerns related to a desire to be with young girls. The church granted the priest an indefinite leave of absence in July 1991. In 2012, an adult woman claimed the priest abused her in 1978 when she was age ten. The abuse lasted for two years.

Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry

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Ferraldo, Ralph N.

Ordained: 1970

A female witness claimed in 1994 that Reverend Ferraldo inappropriately touched her 16-year-old son and indicated he had done it to other altar boys. Two other witnesses from the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center stated the priest made improper sexual advances to an adult patient. Ferraldo was granted an indefinite leave of absence from the church in 1988.

Current Status: Died 1997

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Ferrara (Ferrar), Philip (Angelus)

Ordained: 1990

The monk surrendered to State Police in March 2011 on charges of inappropriate sexual contact with a teenager. The Burke County victims reported Ferrara abused them at Our Lady of Solitude Cloister and Retreat.

Current Status: Sentence to .5 to 2 years in prison 10/2011

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Flanagan, Austin E.

Ordained: 1966

In 1980, the church became aware of Father Flanagan’s inappropriate activities with young boys and questioned him about fondling minors two years before at summer camp. The priest did not deny what happened.

Current Status: Removed from ministry 2010

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Flannery, Joseph D.

Ordained: 1953

The church knew as early as 1964 that women were making allegations of sexual affairs with Father Flannery, including the priest impregnating a young girl that occurred while on vacation in Atlantic City. The church took no action.

Current Status: Died 2005

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Fleming, Martin J.

Ordained: 1898

The diocese found credible evidence decades after Father Fleming’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. A female victim came forward in 2006, stating that the priest sexually assaulted her in 1940 when she was six years old.

Current Status: Died 1950

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Gallagher, Edward F.

Ordained: 1946

The diocese found credible evidence years after the priest’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 2001

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Gibson, Robert J.

Ordained: 1958

In 1995, the diocese became aware of possible sexual abuse committed by Father Gibson while at Notre Dame Junior/Senior High School – Easton (1973/74). Additional victims came forward in 1997, 2002, 2005, and 2007. The church sent the priest to a Missouri treatment facility for suspected sex offenders and pedophiles.

Current Status: Died 2012

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Gilgallon, Joseph G.

Ordained: 1959

The diocese found credible evidence years after Father Gilgallon’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. One incident included a 40-year-old victim undergoing counseling that alleges the priest sexually violated him in December 1986.

Current Status: Died 1991

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Gormley, James Joseph

Ordained: 1954

The diocese found credible evidence years after the priest’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 6/2005

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Griffin, Joseph A.

Ordained: 1927

In 2009, a 42-year-old man reported that Father Griffin sexually assaulted him in 1967 when he was nine years old. The priest took numerous boys, including the victim, to Seneca Lake, NY, on a boat trip and spent time at Lake Henry at a summer cottage. The victim was not interested in pursuing legal action against the diocese but wanted to talk about what happened.

Current Status: Died 1988

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Hammond, Joseph T.

Ordained: 1931

A victim came forward to testify in 2016 that while in high school in 1961, Reverend Hammond masturbated in front of him and attempted fondling. Other boys witnessed the priest’s inappropriate activity in Saint Leo’s rectory (Ashley). The victim’s mother contacted the diocese and was told the church would take care of it. However, Hammon remained in the ministry and was ultimately made Monsignor in 1968.

Current Status: Died 1985

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Hazzouri, Alex J.

Ordained: 1957

A victim in Dunmore filed a lawsuit in 2002 naming the diocese and Reverend Hazzouri alleging sexual harassment at the Villa St. Joseph in Dunmore that began when she was working at 14 years old. The court dismissed the lawsuit on summary judgment (2005)

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Heid, Charles W.

Ordained: 1936

The diocese found credible evidence years after Father Heid’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 1991

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Homer, P. Lawrence

Ordained: 1959

Documents show that in January 1967, Father Homer had inappropriate sexual conversations with two 14-year-old girls in separate talks discussing their bodies. In January 1988, a female victim notified the diocese the priest sexually molested her when she was 14 years old in 1964. The church sent Reverend Homer for evaluation and treatment and removed him from ministry in July 2002.

Current Status: Died 2015

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Houston, Joseph F.

Ordained: 1964

The church received information in 1971 that Father Houston was seen entering a motel room at night on numerous occasions with an underage female. In 2002, the female victim told the diocese that the priest sexually assaulted her decades ago when she was 14 to 17 years old. She did not want law enforcement involved. The church removed Houston from his priestly duties in June 2002. The diocese notified the District Attorney’s Office of a complaint of the priest’s sexual abuse with minors.

Current Status: Pope John Paul II granted Houston dispensation

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Kane, James J.

Ordained: 1944

The 2018 Pennsylvania Grant Jury Report found credible evidence to accuse the priest of inappropriate sexual activity.

Current Status: Unknown

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Kulig, Francis G.

Ordained: 1974

The 2018 PA Grand Jury Report found credible evidence that Reverend Kulig engaged in sexual abuse with children. The diocese received a complaint in 1986 from a man alleging the priest had sexually abused his son beginning when the child was 12 years old that continued until 1985. Father Kulig admitted he had “a relationship” with the child. The church sent the priest for treatment in 1987 while he served as pastor of St. Mary of the Lake and Lake Winola until his resignation in August 1987. The church reassigned him to a convent chaplaincy. The victim was part of a $10,000 settlement.

Current Status: Ministry faculties removed 7/2002

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Liberatore Jr., Albert M.

Ordained: 1989

In 1996, the Bishop was informed that the priest had a close relationship with a young adult male. However, no action was taken. The diocese received a letter from American College in Belgium that the priest was seen drunk and with a teenage male or young man in his bedroom. Complaints were received in January 2004 that Reverend Liberatore had abused two young men. Pennsylvania law enforcement arrested the priest in 2004 on charges of sexual abuse and providing alcohol to an altar boy between 1999 and 2004. NYC police charged the priest with the sexual assault of a minor. Liberatore was sentenced to ten years’ probation in 2005. The priest was rearrested in 2006 for a parole violation. The diocese settled a Federal civil suit in 2004 for $3 million.

Current Status: Laicized in 7/2006 and listed on the Pennsylvania sex offender registry

_________________________________________________________________________

Madaj, John A.

Ordained: 1939

The diocese found credible evidence years after the priest’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. The priest’s file showed two letters dated 1952 alleging Reverend Madaj had an affair with a housekeeper. In 1990, the diocese was informed that a nineteen-year-old male had been sexually abused by Father Madaj a decade earlier when he was nine or ten years old.

Current Status: Died 1998

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Mako, Luis

Ordained: 1962

The diocese found credible evidence years after the Romanian-born priest’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. Documents show that the priest was transferred to the Diocese of Buffalo, where he remained until 1972.

Current Status: Died 1998

_________________________________________________________________________

McAuliffe, James M.

Ordained: 1942

In 2010, a man placed a newspaper ad asking others to call if they wanted to talk about Reverend McAuliffe. The diocese contacted the man who told him the priest had abused him between 9/1954 and 4/1963 at Holy Savior in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Church officials contacted law enforcement and notified the parish where McAuliffe was working. Several victims came forward. One man reported his abuse involving sodomy that occurred in 1963. McAuliffe was sent for treatment in KY and not allowed to return to ministry. However, after the Bishop died in 1965, the priest was readmitted to ministry and served as Pastor Emeritus of Saint David’s until his death.

Current Status: Died 8/1989

_________________________________________________________________________

McLaughlin, Neil P.

Ordained: 1959

In 2008, Reverend McLaughlin was accused of inappropriate sexual contact with a ten-year-old girl in 1963 in Scranton, PA. Church officials deemed the evidence credible. McLaughlin admitted that “there may be other victims of similar sexual misconduct” in incidents that occurred in the Scranton diocese.

Current Status: Likely living around the Baltimore area in Maryland

_________________________________________________________________________

Meighan, Joseph F.

Ordained: 1968

The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Meighan. The priest was initially accused in 1970 of fondling and disrobing boys. Church officials sent the priest for treatment before returning him to ministry. In 1981, the church made Meighan Pastor in Jackson, then Shavertown, in 1987. Meighan was sent back for treatment in 1990 after being caught by a woman when he was disrobing her seventeen-year-old child in the rectory. Additional complaints were received in 2003, 2007, and 2008.

Current Status: Unknown

_________________________________________________________________________

Motsay, Russell E.

Ordained: 1972

In April 2012, the diocese received a report of Reverend Motsay sexually molesting children. At the time, the priest was pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Carbondale. The police were informed and started an investigation when the accuser stated that he slept over at Motsay’s rectory, where the priest would sexually abuse him. Motsay admitted the allegations were true after the investigation identified four additional victims

Current Status: Premanently removed from ministry 9/2015

_________________________________________________________________________

Ned, Father

Accusations arose involving Albert ‘Father Ned’ Liberatori’s sexual abuse of two or more boys occurring in the mid-1990s. The church sent Father Ned to counseling, and he was eventually cleared for reassignment. However, it was determined that the father had sexually assaulted another youth. The church never reported the incident to the police, and he never faced criminal prosecution.

Current Status: Never criminally prosecuted

_________________________________________________________________________

Nolan, James F.

Ordained: 1929

The diocese found credible evidence years after the priest’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a fifteen-year-old altar boy. In 2003, a seventy-five-year-old victim reported that Reverend Nolan had groped him decades ago and, after discussing the issue with the diocese, felt he could put the matter behind him now.

Current Status: Died 1957

_________________________________________________________________________

Oldfield, Albert E.

Ordained: 1959

The diocese found credible evidence revealing that Reverend Oldfield participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 8/2019

_________________________________________________________________________

O’Neil, John A.

Ordained: 1918

The diocese found credible evidence years after Reverend O’Neill’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 1978

_________________________________________________________________________

Paulish, W. William Jeffrey

Ordained: 1988

In September 2013, while assigned as assistant pastor for Prince of Peace Parish in Old Forge, Reverend Paulish was found in a car on a college campus engaged in sexual activity with an underage boy he met online. When the police arrested him, he said the boy had informed him that he was eighteen years old. The police released Paulish on bail eleven days later. The church placed him on leave. In January 2014, the priest pled guilty and was sentenced the jail for up to twenty-three months. A lawsuit was filed in 2018 alleging that the priest abused another teenage boy in 2006 and 2007.

Current Status: Sentenced to twenty three months in jail

_________________________________________________________________________

Pender, John A.

Ordained: 1962

The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Pender. The District Attorneys’ office released a list in 2016 of priests, including Father Pender, accused of child sex abuse. Documents reveal that the diocese ordered the priest to undergo psychiatric treatment in 1968. However, Pender did not comply and left the diocese without obtaining permission. The Scranton diocese found out years later that the Reverend had been ministering at the Diocese of Jefferson City.

Current Status: Died 2009

_________________________________________________________________________

Pisaneschi, Clare

The diocese found credible evidence years after the Pisaneschi’s death that the Sister of Religious Teachers Filippini participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 10/2014

_________________________________________________________________________

Plaushin, Mark

Ordained: 1989

In July 2018, the diocese placed Plaushin on leave after an allegation arose that the priest sexually abused an underage child in Monroe County, PA, in 1985 before being ordained. The incident was reported to the Scranton Diocese, who turned the information over to the District Attorney’s Office. The priest denied the accusation.

Current Status: Reportedly living in Lithuania

_________________________________________________________________________

Polcha, Michael G.

Ordained: 1933

The diocese found credible evidence years after the Polcha’s death that the priest participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 1999

_________________________________________________________________________

Pulicare, Michael J.

Ordained: 1971

In 2018, the diocese found credible evidence years after the Pulicare’s death that the priest participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. There were multiple allegations of sexual assault involving boys. For male victims filed separate lawsuits in 2019, claiming Pulicare sexually abused them over seven years when they were ages seven through fourteen.

Current Status: 1999

_________________________________________________________________________

Rossetti/Rosetti, Mark T.

Ordained: 1985

The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Rossetti in November. In 1995, an allegation arose that Rossetti sexually assaulted a thirteen-year-old male victim while the boy was in the eighth grade. After law enforcement was made aware, the church suspended Rossetti and required that he undergo treatment and a psychological evaluation. In 1995, the criminal investigation was ended because of an agreement with the church and the victim and the victim’s family. In 1997, Rossetti was reassigned to the Archdiocese of New York until he was reassigned back to the Diocese of Scranton in 2002. The church laicized Rossetti in 2007.

Current Status: Died 4/2018

_________________________________________________________________________

Shilala, Robert

Ordained: 1958

The diocese found credible evidence years after the Shilala’s death that the priest participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 1997

_________________________________________________________________________

Shoback, Edward J.

Ordained: 1967

The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Shoback. In 2004, the priest was removed after multiple alleged victims came forward admitting the Reverend had sexually assaulted them when they were minors two decades before. Another victim came forward and alleged Shoback had sexually assaulted him when he was a boy. In 2006, one victim stated that he had been sexually abused by Shoback when he was thirteen years old. Shoback had paid the victim money from the priest’s pension for four years to reimburse lost wages. No criminal charges were filed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. However, more victims came forward in 2007 and 2009. In 2011, the priest’s brother was accused of abuse and arrested (6/2012).

Current Status: Laicized 7/2009

_________________________________________________________________________

Shoback, Thomas P.

Ordained: 1977

In 2018, the diocese released Reverend Shoback’s name among credibly accused priests, volunteers, and laypeople associated with sexual abuse of underage children. In 2011, allegations arose that Shoback had sexually abused a boy between 1991 and 1997 when the priest was the pastor of St. Mary and St. Andrew in Blossburg. The church suspended the Reverend who was arrested in June 2012 and charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, endangering the welfare of children, indecent assault, and corruption of minors for repeated sexual assault of an altar boy. The diocese removed Shoback from ministry in November 2014. Another victim came forward in May 2006.

Current Status: Convicted 4/2013 and sentenced to up to10 years in state prison

_________________________________________________________________________

Skotek, Thomas D.

Ordained: 1963

The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Skotek. In April 2002, the diocese removed Skotek’s ministerial duties after the priest admitted to “some improper conduct” occurring over the last three decades. The Bishop stated that the priest was under scrutiny years before for other misconduct. Evidence shows that the priest sexually assaulted a girl between 1980 and 1985 while he was serving as the Saint Casimir’s in Freeland pastor. The church sent the priest for treatment in Maryland before reassigning him to the Wilkes-Barre parish (1987).

Current Status: Resigned 1986

_________________________________________________________________________

Sokolowski, Thomas

Ordained: 1979

The diocese found credible evidence years after the Sokolowski’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 2012

_________________________________________________________________________

Stahurski, Thomas E.

Ordained: 1974

The diocese found credible evidence years after Stahurski’s death that the priest participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor

Current Status: Died 1988

_________________________________________________________________________

Tamalis, John J.

Ordained: 1971

The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Father Tamalis. In February 1997, the diocese became aware that a man was accusing the priest of sexually assaulting him in 1976 when he was thirteen years old. The victim stated that the priest would provide him alcohol before the sexual abuse. The church sent Reverend Tamalis for evaluation. The priest admitted that he had probably abused nine boys and young men. However, the treatment center stated that there were likely far more victims. Afterward, many victims came forward. No charges were filed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.

Current Status: Laicized 12/2007

_________________________________________________________________________

Tetherow, Virgil Bradley

Ordained: 2002

In 2005, Father “Gabriel” Tetherow admitted he downloaded child pornography while at Saint Ann’s in Tobyhanna in January 2005. Law enforcement arrested the priest while staying at Saint Anthony of Padua in West Orange, New Jersey. After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to two years’ probation. The church removed the priest’s faculties but was found holding services and celebrating mass in 2007 against the Church’s orders. In 2011, he was holding services in his newly formed transitional church that is not recognized by the Vatican and as of 2018, was a “priest” at the Saint Michael the Archangel in Lower Windsor Township, P.A.

Current Status: Laicized 3/2015

_________________________________________________________________________

Timchak, Robert M.

Ordained: 1992

In October 2009, Reverend Timchak was arrested on sixteen counts of possessing child pornography. A year earlier, law enforcement started an investigation after the diocese notified the local District Attorney’s Office that they had received an anonymous letter that Reverend Timchak was improperly using his computer. In 2006, church officials placed the priest on a one-year leave of absence and sent him for treatment. In August 2010, Father Timchak pled guilty to seventeen counts of child pornography possession and downloading porn. The priest was fined, received a prison sentence up to seventy-two months, and ordered to register as a sex offender. The church laicized him in January 2014.

Current Status: Released on parole and must register as a sex offender (6/2012)

_________________________________________________________________________

Tomkiewic, Dominic C.

Ordained: 1914

The diocese found credible evidence years after Tomkiewic’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 1967

_________________________________________________________________________

Tribendis, George

Ordained: 1941

The diocese found credible evidence years after Tribendis’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 1986

_________________________________________________________________________

Urrutigoity, Carlos

Ordained: 1991

In 2018, the diocese released the Reverend’s name among credibly accused priests, volunteers, and laypeople associated with sexual abuse of underage children. Accusations involving Fr. Urrutigoity and Fr. Eric Ensey, from a traditionalist religious society, allege that both priests sexually assaulted two seminary students, and possibly more, in the late 1990s. Of the two civil suits that have been filed, one was settled in 2005. The diocese asked the Vatican to suspend Urrutigoity from Ministry.

Current Status: Faculties removed 7/2014

_________________________________________________________________________

Vadakekottaram, Sebastian

In 2018, the diocese released the Oblate’s name among credibly accused priests, volunteers, and laypeople associated with sexual abuse of underage children.

Current Status: Unknown

_________________________________________________________________________

Weniger, Lawrence P.

Ordained: 1934

The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Weniger. The priest was accused of fondling several boys at a church in Lucerne and the Sacred Heart School during the 1960s. One accuser believes that the Diocese of Scranton was aware of the priest’s behavior when it was occurring. The diocese Bishop admitted that they had received reports of several allegations after Weniger died.

Current Status: Died 7/1972

_________________________________________________________________________

Wheeler, William J.

Ordained: 1952

The diocese found credible evidence years after Wheeler’s death that the priest participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died 1988

_________________________________________________________________________

Wilson, Joseph B./ Raphael

Ordained: 1994

The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Father Wilson. In July 2002, the church removed the priest because of allegations he sexually assaulted two boys when he was a religious brother at the Order of Holy Cross Province. The priest admitted to one case of sexual assault. The church sent Reverend Wilson for evaluation and treatment. A lawsuit was settled confidentially for $250,000.

Current Status: Removed from ministry 2/2002

_________________________________________________________________________

Wolpert, Steven J.

Ordained: 1980

Reverend Wolpert retired from the priesthood and admitted that he allowed underage minors to sleep with him while he was nude. In 2008, the priest pleaded guilty to “involuntary deviant sexual intercourse with a child under the age of thirteen” and for abusing an eight-year-old male between 2006 and 2007.

Current Status: Possibly paroled 8/2016

A 2018 Grand Jury Report

In August 2018, details of a grand jury investigation were released to the public that included the list of 301 religious leaders in Pennsylvania. The list in the 884-page report included fifty-nine Diocesan clergy members from the Scranton Diocese with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor or young adult. The fifty-nine priests and other religious leaders named in the report were previously assigned or are still working in eleven counties, including Bradford, Lucerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Lycoming, Sullivan, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, Tioga, and Wyoming.

The report revealed that six of the dioceses in Pennsylvania had brushed aside the widespread sexual abuse incidents occurring in Catholic parishes statewide. The disturbing grand jury report identified thousands of victims of sexual abuse by priests in active ministry, retired, deceased, or placed on administrative leave by the Bishop of Scranton.

The grand jury report contains recommendations, including eliminating the Pennsylvania statute of limitations involving underage abuse victims. Another recommendation was to extend the window of opportunity for victims of sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit for compensation. Also, the grand jury recommended lifting restrictions that blocked victims from reporting what occurred to local law enforcement as a part of the negotiated civil lawsuit agreement.

Covering up Sexual Abuse & Victim-Blaming the Survivor

Without the proper guidance from Pope Francis, Cardinals, Bishops, Pastors, and others, Church officials have worked to cover-up cases of sexual abuse involving their clergy. Also, the Church has used society’s attitude toward sexually active individuals outside of marriage against the survivors of sexual assault to feed into victim-blaming behavior.

Everyone must report information concerning a sexual assault to the proper authorities to ensure the predator is held criminally accountable. This effort protects victims of clergy. However, for centuries, Church officials have kept credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor or young adult hidden away from the religious community. While this conflict of interest maintains the Church’s positive image, their religious authority protects the predatory priest while abandoning the victim.

Victims Suffer Ongoing Trauma

Typically, the reason a sexual abuser assaults vulnerable children and young adults is because they can express their power over others. These predators use the Church-provided power of a trusted authority as a weapon against the defenseless. The clergy abuser selects their victim with deliberate targeting and picks those who will likely never report what happened nor ever speak of it out loud.

The sense of victimization the young person experienced often creates ongoing trauma that can take years or decades to resolve. Many survivors of child sexual abuse will develop challenging personal relationships as they mature and deal with ongoing anxiety, lifelong depression, and thoughts of suicide. The sense of anger, confusion, or feeling lost might take years of therapy. Sadly, Diocesan officials often turn away from the victim who comes to them for financial assistance to receive the counseling they need to move on.

Scranton Diocese Sexual Abuse Lawyers Help Find Justice

If you are a sexual assault victim, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is here to help. We have assisted victims of sexual abuse, ensuring they receive financial compensation through a civil suit. Contact us now to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss your case in a confidential setting. Let us work on your behalf to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.

Did a predatory priest or another clergy member sexually assault you years or decades ago? With our years of experience, we can sidestep many of the restrictions associated with the Pennsylvania statute of limitations to file a claim on your behalf. All the information you share with our law office will remain confidential. We handle cases where the predator is currently in active ministry, deceased, on administrative leave, retired, or no longer associated with the Catholic Church.

 

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