99 Pittsburgh Priests Named In Grand Jury Sex Abuse Report

Over 1,000 victims indentified across the state

August 14, 2018 - 3:20 pm
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HARRISBURG (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - State Attorney General Josh Shapiro has released the landmark grand jury report, 884 pages, that identifies 301 "predator priests" who molested more than 1,000 child victims in six Roman Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania over decades, including the Pittsburgh Diocese, where 99 predator priests were named.

“This lengthy report was written by 23 committed grand jurors based on extensive testimony and documentation. It goes into great detail about widespread sexual abuse and cover-up within the Catholic Church.

Shapiro explained the scope of the report:

“The unprecedented scope of this investigation, the abuse, diocese by diocese, charges resulting from this grand jury investigation, the systematic cover-up by church leaders, the weaponization of faith, the failure of law enforcement and finally the recommendations of the grand jury.”

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In a press release, Shapiro said in Pittsburgh, “A group of at least four predator priests groomed and abused young boys. They used whips, violence and sadism in sexually assaulting their young victims. One boy, not yet 18, was forced to stand on a bed in a rectory, strip naked, and pose as Christ on the Cross for the priests. They took photos of their victim, adding them to a collection of child pornography which they produced and shared on church grounds.

Read the full grand jury report here

Shapiro also described how some priests used the cross to identify who could be abused.

“To make it easier to target their victims, the priests gave their favorite boys gifts, gold crosses to wear as necklaces. The crosses were marking of which boys had been groomed for abuse.”

In Greensburg, 20 priests were named and in the released it says, “One priest, Father Raymond Lukac, impregnated a 17-year-old, forged another pastor’s signature on a marriage certificate, then divorced the girl shortly after she gave birth. Despite that, Lukac remained in ministry while the Diocese sought a “benevolent bishop” in another state to take the predator, hiding him from justice.”

The grand jury recommends four changes to Pennsylvania law:

  • Eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for sexually abusing children.
  • Create a “civil window” so older victims may now sue for damages.
  • Clarify penalties for a continuing failure to report child abuse.
  • Specify that Civil Confidentiality Agreements do not cover communications with law enforcement.

The report emerged from one of the nation's most exhaustive investigations of clergy sexual abuse.

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