More News:

May 22, 2018

Sex abuse investigation of Pa. Catholic dioceses will be made public

Investigations Sexual Abuse
Clergy sex-abuse case Brian Hickey/PhillyVoice

Clergy sexual-abuse grand-jury reports are thrown on the steps leading into the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia during a 2016 press conference held by victims.

The results of a nearly two-year long investigation into alleged sex abuse within six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses will be made public this summer, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Monday.

Shapiro said that church officials in the Greensburg and Harrisburg dioceses reversed their previous positions and will no longer try to stop the results from being made public.

“Now all of the dioceses support the release of the investigation’s findings and results," Shapiro said. "The only thing that could stop these findings from becoming public at that time is if one of the bishops or dioceses would seek to delay or prevent this public accounting.”

The grand jury investigation, which began in 2016, has also probed the dioceses of Allentown, Scranton, Pittsburgh and Erie. Shapiro said he expects to speak publicly about the investigation’s findings around the end of June.

The investigation has already led to the arrests of two priests. Most recently, Rev. David Poulson, a priest in the Diocese of Erie, was charged with indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.

Paulson, 64, allegedly abused two boys ages 8 and 15. According to prosecutors, Paulson assaulted one boy multiple times in church rectories and afterward ordered the boy to confess to him about the attacks.

The diocese had been made aware of complaints about Paulson in 2010 but did nothing until the grand jury issued a subpoena in 2016, according to Shapiro.

The current investigation was launched after another statewide probe revealed the widespread sex abuse within the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown had been covered up for more than 50 years.

In response to the current investigation, the Diocese of Erie now maintains a list of priests officials believe have been credibly accused of behavior that makes them unfit to work with children.