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A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Pittsburgh made a report on Wednesday, November 27th, 2019, stating that the child sexual abuse allegations made against four priests in the diocese have enough credit to be sent to the Vatican.
Learn more from our lawyers about a Pennsylvania Catholic Church sexual abuse lawsuit.
Rev. John Bauer, retired Rev. Bernard Costello, Rev. Joseph Reschick, and Rev. Richard Lelonis have all been accused of sexual abuse involving children. Baur and Costello were placed on leave in August 2018, Reschick was placed on leave in October 2018, and Lelonis was placed on leave in November 2018. Lelonis passed away this past October 2019.
The details regarding the alleged abuse have not been released, other than dates, which indicate the abuse began as far back as the 1960s.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh has a review board that investigates any allegations and in her statement, the spokeswoman for the Diocese stated that “based on the evidence brought forward, the accusations are credible.” The spokeswoman also indicated that any allegations of abuse are reported to the Attorney General’s Office. The investigation performed by the Diocese is completely separate from any criminal charges and only determines if a priest should be permanently removed from the ministry.
Related Reading: Father John P. Schmeer: Former Students Accuse Priest Of Sexual Abuse In Pennsylvania
In July 2018, a grand jury report was released, publishing the results of a two-year investigation into widespread allegations of child sexual abuse in six Diocese of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. The report highlighted just how far church officials went to cover up the ongoing sexual assault.
Here are just a few of the facts outlined in the report:
The full grand jury report is nearly 900 pages long and can be found here.
Following the release of this report, thousands of victims who were abused by Catholic priests as children have come forward, speaking out against their abusers.
In many cases, the victims of child sex abuse committed by Catholic priests did come forward, only to be told they were in the wrong or to be ignored. Many survivors have stated that when they told church officials about the horrific abuse they had suffered, they were told to pray for their sins, while their abuser was left unpunished.
Choosing to come forward and report sexual abuse is incredibly difficult for any adult survivor, let alone a child. In fact, sexual assault and rape are the most underreported crimes in the United States. Reasons why survivors don’t come forward include:
It’s common for those who commit sex abuse crimes to have multiple victims. When one victim comes forward, this usually inspires another to do the same.
Survivors of sexual assault have the right to take legal action against the person who abused them and any parties whose negligence allowed the abuse to take place. A PA sexual assault lawsuit can provide compensation that won’t change the past but could help to build a brighter and happier future.
This legal complaint can be filed anonymously. To learn more about how this can be done and the legal process, contact Abuse Guardians for a free consultation.