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October 17, 2018

Former Pennsylvania priest reportedly admits to sexual assault

Knowledge of David Poulson behavior stretches back to the beginning of the decade

Priest Abuse Sexual Assaults
08142018_stained_glass_Unsplash Photo by Ant Rozetsky /on Unsplash

Pennsylvania's clergy abuse hotline has received 1,862 calls since being instituted last August.

A former priest in a northwest Pennsylvania diocese admitted Wednesday to sexually assaulting one boy and attempting to assault another.

The state attorney general’s office said David Poulson, who belonged to the Diocese of Erie, has pleaded guilty to charges of corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children.

The attorney general’s office said the diocese knew about Poulson’s behavior in 2010, but didn’t report him to authorities until 2016, according to PennLive.

This admission comes two months after a bombshell report on sexual abuse by Pennsylvania priests from across the state.

In a statement to PennLive, the current Bishop of Erie Lawrence Perscio said he was very saddened by the situation, and that the diocese will inform authorities of any sexual misconduct with minors.

The admission by Paulson comes as the state Senate mulls a bill that would aid child sexual abuse victims by changing Pennsylvania's statute of limitations.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro pushed for the bill’s passing during a news conference addressing Poulson’s admission, according to PennLive.

“Two of Poulson’s victims received justice today,” Shapiro said, “but because of outdated statute of limitations laws in Pennsylvania, other victims may never have their day in court.”

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