Posts Tagged Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Oct. 20 on the appeal from a Roman Catholic diocese in a case that could allow plaintiffs to sue over sexual abuse by priests in cases that otherwise would be barred by the statute of limitations.
“The court will hear the case of Renee Rice of Altoona, who sued the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown alleging sexual abuse by one of its priests, the Rev. Charles F. Bodziak, in the 1970s and 1980s. The case is scheduled to be heard at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 20, with arguments livestreamed on YouTube, according to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
“Ms. Rice’s lawsuit, filed in 2016, was dismissed by a Blair County judge who said the statute of limitations precluded suing over long-ago abuse.
“But the state Superior Court ruled in 2019 that she could pursue her claim that the Altoona-Johnstown diocese covered up sexual abuse by numerous priests using a pattern of alleged fraud and conspiracy that continued right up to the 2016 release of a grand jury report into sexual abuse in the diocese.”
By Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — Read more …
“… the most wide-ranging criminal investigation ever into the scandal in the United States.”
In compelling Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses to turn over as much as 70 years’ worth of records on sexually abusive priests, the state Attorney General’s Office is mounting what could be the most wide-ranging criminal investigation ever into the scandal in the United States.
“And if history is any guide – in particular, the history of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, which was the subject of the initial two-year grand jury investigation that mushroomed into the statewide probe – here are a few things to expect in the coming months or years …”
By Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on Philly.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Victims advocate Robert Hoatson said he sees a ‘dome’ of secrecy over the region of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown – a phenomenon that allowed priests to sexually abuse children for decades without fear of legal retribution.
“The diocese’s ongoing actions show that it remains intent on controlling the message surrounding the mistreatment of children – despite a March 1 report from the state attorney general’s office that accused 50 priests and other clergy members of abusing children in their care, protected by bishops who moved the offenders from parish to parish rather than exposing them to criminal charges.”
By The Tribune Democrat Editorial Board — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.
Over four decades, at least 50 priests and other church employees molested hundreds of children in a small Roman Catholic diocese in central Pennsylvania, and in many cases their superiors knew of the abuses but did not remove the priests or notify law enforcement, according to a grand jury report released on Tuesday (Mar. 1).
“But none of the findings will result in prosecution, according to State Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, whose office led the investigation, because the statutes of limitations on all alleged crimes have expired.
“The report names a dozen priests who admitted — to church officials, to the grand jury or both — that they had molested children, and other cases where church records made clear that their superiors believed they were guilty. None were taken to law enforcement, and in cases where police or prosecutors learned of allegations, the report says, church officials worked to hush them up.”
By Richard Perez-Pena and Laurie Goodstein, The New New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.