Last month, the Catholic Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania released a list of over 50 priests, teachers and other Diocese employees who were “credibly accused” of various actions, including sexual abuse, sexual assault, child pornography, furnishing child pornography to minors, and failing to prevent sex abuse/assault that they knew was happening.
Of the 50+ individuals on the list, 34 are former priests, including a bishop and 17 are lay people, including teachers, coaches, etc. Of the 34 former priests, 20 are deceased, and 2 of the 17 lay people on the list are also deceased. Scroll below for a list of accused priests and lay persons who are still alive.
The list was published amid a large scale investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office into at least 5 dioceses in Pennsylvania including Altoona-Johnstown, Erie and Harrisburg. The most recent report in the Erie Diocese is nothing new.
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania continues to make headlines across the country for sex abuse and assault scandals in church organizations, particularly the Catholic Church. In 2016, a grand jury report was released showing extraordinarily pervasive abuse within the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Per the report, at least 50 priests and other church employees victimized hundreds of children over a period of decades. The report sounded much like the grand jury reports which detailed similar problems within the Diocese in Philadelphia. The grand juries in these reports lamented on the shortcomings of Pennsylvania’s criminal and civil statute of limitations laws, which prevented prosecution and justice.
Despite these reports and the ongoing investigations into other dioceses in Pennsylvania, the PA legislature has failed to take any real action, such as abolishing the statute of limitations in both criminal and civil cases and opening special windows that would allow previously time-barred cases to be filed. Other states have passed these so-called “civil windows,” including Delaware.
More: Pennsylvania Priest Arrested for Sex Abuse of 10 Year Old Boy in Early 1990s (Posted on July 25, 2017)
In a remarkable success story, a man took advantage of the civil window in Delaware and brought a child molestation lawsuit against a sitting state court judge. The judge admitted to the abuse and was disbarred. Because the criminal statute of limitations had long expired, the civil lawsuit was the only remedy, and it was only filed because of the special civil window law passed by the Delaware legislature. Firm partners at Laffey, Bucci & Kent took this case, despite having just opened their doors and facing backlash from the legal community. Read more about the case, Kelly v. Bradley (Case# 1:09-ev-00282-LDD, Superior Court of Delaware), and watch a YouTube video of an interview at the National Crime Victims Bar Association.
Laffey, Bucci & Kent – Accepting Priest & Church Abuse Clients in Pennsylvania
Firm partner Brian Kent is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor who has been representing victims in civil cases for nearly a decade. He and other partners at the firm are rated as top personal injury lawyers by Super Lawyers magazine.
Firm News: Massage Envy Sex Assault Victims Lawsuits, Laffey, Bucci & Kent Makes National News (Nov. 2017)
Laffey, Bucci & Kent handles priest sex abuse, school sex abuse and medical sex abuse cases and strives to achieve the best results possible for their clients. If you would like to speak to our Sex Abuse Victims Lawyers privately about a priest or church abuse matter, please call our law office at (866) 641-0806.
List of Priests & Lay People with Their Last Known Locations (From the Erie Diocese website, as of 5/10/18)
- Former Father Michael J. Amy — Niceville, Florida (Laicized)
- Father Michael G. Barletta — Erie, Pennsylvania (Forbidden to function as a priest)
- Father Robert F. Bower — Edinboro, Pennsylvania (Forbidden to function as a priest)
- Andre C. Butler — Rosedale, New York (Former lay agency employee)
- Former Father Dennis C. Chludzinski — Erie, Pennsylvania (Laicized)
- Megan E. Fecko — Cleveland, Ohio (Former lay teacher)
- Kevin J. Feyas — Erie, Pennsylvania (Former lay teacher and parish musician)
- Former Father Chester J. Gawronski — Sahuarita, Arizona (Dismissed from the clergy)
- Timothy G. Hanson, Sr. — North East, Pennsylvania (Layman prohibited from volunteer work or entering school property)
- Father Stephen E. Jeselnick — Colorado Springs, Colorado (Forbidden to function as a priest)
- Former Father Gary L. Ketcham — Erie, Pennsylvania (Laicized)
- Father Thaddeus T. Kondzielski — Waterford, Pennsylvania (Forbidden to function as a priest)
- Kevin S. Kulhanek — Erie, Pennsylvania (Former lay school volunteer)
- Father Salvatore P. Luzzi — Bradford, Pennsylvania (Forbidden to function as a priest)
- Eve Minter (née Spangler) — Henrico, Virginia (Former lay teacher)
- David Montgomery — Otisville, New York (Former lay teacher; in federal prison until 2041)
- Father Leon T. Muroski — Erie, Pennsylvania (Forbidden to function as a priest)
- Denise J. (née Geitner) Myers (Meyer) — Greensburg, Pennsylvania (Former lay teacher)
- Hattie B. Nichols — Erie, Pennsylvania (Former lay agency employee)
- Philip J. Pochatko — Subiaco, Arkansas (Former lay school teacher)
- Brian J. Radachy — Elkton, Ohio (Former lay school teacher; in federal prison until 2024)
- Former Father Samuel B. Slocum — Bradford, Pennsylvania (Dismissed from the clergy)
- Former Father Thomas E. Smith — Erie, Pennsylvania (Dismissed from the clergy)
- Father Daniel J. Taylor — Tucson, Arizona (Forbidden to function as a priest)
- Ron Thomsen — Erie, Pennsylvania (Former lay volunteer)
- Dennis E. Vickery — Erie, Pennsylvania (Former lay teacher)
- Joseph M. Votino — Masury, Ohio (Former lay teacher/coach)
- Craig T. Ward — Erie, Pennsylvania (Former lay agency employee)
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