Pennsylvania Revival Window Moves Closer to Reality

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania made headlines in August of 2018 with the release of the Diocese Victim Report, which came after a two-year grand jury investigation into sexual abuse and cover-ups in six of the eight Pennsylvania Dioceses. In its wake, Pennsylvania legislators took aim at updating laws involving sexual abuse and a survivor’s ability to pursue a civil action against an abuser and the institutions that covered it up.

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Allegations of Sexual Abuse Emerge Against Two Priests Who Served in the Diocese of Greensburg, PA

Allegations of sexual abuse by two priests who served in the Greensburg Diocese were brought to light recently by the State Attorney General’s office and the diocese itself. Father Emil Payer’s name was released by the diocese as part of a report by Bishop Edward Malesic. The report stated that Payer’s name was being added to the diocese’s list of priests who served within the diocese and had one or more “credible and substantiated” allegations of child sexual abuse brought against them. The second priest, Father Andrew M. Kawecki, was arrested and charged with several sexual abuse crimes against a former altar boy.

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Number of Clergy Abuse Lawsuits Filed in Pennsylvania Surge

Over the last few years, many states have passed reform bills to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse hold their abusers, and the institutions responsible for the abuse, accountable. Several states, including New York and California, have passed laws setting up what are commonly referred to as ‘revival windows.’ These ‘revival windows’ create a time frame for previously expired claims to be brought on behalf of the survivor.

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Clergy Sex Abuse Cover-up Sparks Lawsuit Against Diocese of Erie

A lawsuit was filed in early July of this year against the Diocese of Erie, alleging fraudulent concealment. A woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, referred to here as ‘Jane Doe’, has alleged that she was molested by Rev. Michael G. Barletta in the 1970s. At the center of the lawsuit is her claim that the Erie Diocese not only covered-up previous allegations against Rev. Barletta, but, more disturbingly, let him remain in active ministry which allowed him the access to later molest her. Her lawsuit explains that she had no idea of the Erie Diocese’s history of protecting child predators until the statewide grand jury report was released in 2018

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Bishops Cover Up in the Diocese of Scranton

A lawsuit has been brought against Bishop James Timlin and Bishop Joseph Bambera for their part in covering up years of alleged sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese of Scranton. After years of thinking it was “too late” to do anything about their abuse, four men have come forward and accused Father Michael Pulicare, the former assistant pastor of St Joseph’s Parish, of sexual abuse. Pulicare died in 1999 and the church was renamed Divine Mercy of St Joseph, which is located on Davis St in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Each man filed their own separate lawsuit.

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Harrisburg Catholic Diocese Attempts to Reduce Sex Abuse Lawsuit Payouts with Bankruptcy Filing

The Harrisburg Catholic Diocese has recently declared bankruptcy as a result of ongoing and mounting Catholic Church sexual abuse claims. The diocese has already paid out nearly $13 million to 111 victims of childhood sexual abuse and church officials believe there may be more than 200 additional victims who could seek compensation through the bankruptcy proceedings.

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Superior Court reinstates priest molestation lawsuit filed against Altoona-Johnstown Diocese

A Pennsylvania Superior Court has recently reinstated an important lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA. The lawsuit claims that a woman was repeatedly molested by a pedophile priest in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The case was originally dismissed in December 2017 by a Blair County, PA Common Pleas Court due to an expiration of the statute of limitations (the time allowed to file a claim by law).

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Woman can sue Catholic Church in Pa. over alleged priest abuse 40 years ago, court says

With an important victory for sexual abuse victims, a Pennsylvania court has recently ruled that a woman can pursue her lawsuit claiming clergy in the Altoona-Johnstown, PA Roman Catholic Diocese covered up her alleged molestation by a priest. The lawsuit was initially dismissed by a county judge in 2017 because the statute of limitations had expired. However, a three-judge Superior Court panel reinstated the woman’s lawsuit which claims that two bishops illegally tried to cover up her sexual abuse by a priest to protect their reputations. The ruling may allow more sexual abuse victims whose abuse occurred long ago, to file claims.

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