Local list of child abuse offenders released by Diocese of Erie

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The Diocese of Erie released a public disclosure list Monday of people who will not be accepted as employees or volunteers by the Diocese of Erie.

Some of the names on the list may be recognizable as a result of a criminal conviction or other public report. Other names are being disclosed publicly for the first time. Some people on this list cannot be convicted of a crime because of the passage of time, legal technicalities, their present whereabouts or mental state, or other factors.

Every person named on this list was credibly accused of actions that, in the diocese’s judgment, disqualify that person from working with children. Such actions could include the use of child pornography, furnishing pornography to minors, corruption of minors, violating a child-protection policy, failure to prevent abuse that they knew to be happening, and, in some cases, direct physical sexual abuse or sexual assault of minors.

Allegations were corroborated by secular legal proceedings, canon law proceedings, self-admission by the individual, or threshold evidence. None of the priests listed are permitted to engage in any form of public ministry or to present themselves publicly as priests. Individuals are listed with their current, in the case of priests, or last known, in the case of laypersons, status with the Diocese of Erie or any of the schools or agencies within the diocese.

The individuals on this list are believed to be alive and living in the locations noted:

    •Ronald Keith Allison — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Former lay teacher

    •Former Fr. Michael J. Amy — Niceville, Florida
    Laicized (removed from ministry and later voluntarily resigned from the clergy)

    •Fr. Michael G. Barletta — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Fr. Robert F. Bower — Edinboro, Pennsylvania
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Andre C. Butler — Rosedale, New York
    Former lay agency employee

    •Randolph A. Byrd — Crozet, Virginia
    Former lay teacher

    •Former Fr. Dennis C. Chludzinski — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Laicized

    •Charles R. “Rick” Cooper — Lanexa, Virginia
    Former lay teacher

    •Megan E. Fecko — Cleveland, Ohio
    Former lay teacher

    •Kevin J. Feyas — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Former lay teacher and parish musician

    •Former Fr. Gregory P. Furjanic, OFM — Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    Laicized

    •Former Fr. Chester J. Gawronski — Sahuarita, Arizona
    Dismissed from the clergy

    •Timothy G. Hanson, Sr. — North East, Pennsylvania
    Layman prohibited from volunteer work or entering school property

    •James E. Herzing — St. Marys, Pennsylvania
    Former lay teacher

    •Former Fr. Barry M. Hudock — Albany, Minnesota
    Laicized

    •Fr. Stephen E. Jeselnick — Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Former Fr. Gary L. Ketcham — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Laicized

    •Lewis A. Kocher — Springfield, Ohio
    Former choir director

    •Fr. Thaddeus T. Kondzielski — Waterford, Pennsylvania
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Kevin S. Kulhanek — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Former lay school volunteer

    •Fr. Salvatore P. Luzzi — Bradford, Pennsylvania
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Eve Minter (née Spangler) — Henrico, Virginia
    Former lay teacher

    •David Montgomery — Otisville, New York (in federal prison until 2041)
    Former lay teacher

    •Fr. Leon T. Muroski — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Denise J. (née Geitner) Myers (Meyer) — Greensburg, Pennsylvania
    Former lay teacher

    •Hattie B. Nichols — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Former lay agency employee

    •Philip J. Pochatko — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Former lay school teacher

    •Fr. David L. Poulson — Oil City, Pennsylvania
    Forbidden to function as a priest; awaiting sentencing

    •Brian J. Radachy — Elkton, Ohio (in federal prison until 2024)
    Former lay school teacher

    •Former Fr. Samuel B. Slocum — Bradford, Pennsylvania
    Dismissed from the clergy

    •Fr. Charles R. Schmitt — Port Allegany, Pennsylvania
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Former Fr. Thomas E. Smith — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Dismissed from the clergy

    •Fr. Daniel J. Taylor — Tucson, Arizona
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Ron Thomsen — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Former lay volunteer

    •John (Jack) E. Tome — Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    Former seminarian

    •Former Fr. Patrick B. Vallimont — Union City, Pennsylvania
    Laicized

    •Dennis E. Vickery — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Former lay teacher

    •Joseph M. Votino — Masury, Ohio
    Former lay teacher/coach

    •Craig T. Ward — Erie, Pennsylvania
    Former lay agency employee

Should an employer have a need for further information about the facts underlying the inclusion of any person on this list, please contact the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth at childprotection@eriercd.org.  This list will be updated as necessary.

Additionally, the Diocese of Erie recognized that some of the individuals who failed our children and other vulnerable populations are now deceased.

The list below names those individuals who, but for their death, would be on the above list of people prohibited from employment.

In furnishing the names of these deceased individuals, the diocese wishes to acknowledge those victims/survivors who were harmed by their actions, to encourage any other victims/survivors to come forward who have not already done so, and to reaffirm the commitment of the diocese to offer support and assistance to victims/survivors of abuse. Individuals are listed with their current, in the case of priests, or last known, in the case of laypersons, status with the Diocese of Erie or any of the schools or agencies within the diocese.

    •Fr. Raymond Balko, OSB
    Was able to function (abuse reported after death)

    •Fr. Donald C. Bolton, CSsR
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Fr. Edmund S. Borycz, OFM
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Msgr. Bonaventure M. Ciufoli
    Returned to Italy

    •Fr. Donald J. Cooper
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •William (Bill) Couse
    Former lay school employee

    •Fr. Kevin E. Cray, SDS
    Was able to function (abuse reported after death)

    •Father G. Matthew Daly
    Was able to function (abuse reported after his death)

    •Fr. David V. Dobrowolski
    Was able to function*

    •William P. Garvey
    Former lay teacher/coach (later served as college president)

    •David Geitner
    Former lay teacher

    •Fr. Herbert Gloekler
    Was able to function*

    •Fr. Robert E. Hannon
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Fr. Patrick J. Healy
    Was able to function (abuse reported after his death)

    •James P. Hewitt
    Former lay teacher

    •Msgr. James Hopkins
    Was able to function (abuse reported after his death)

    •Fr. Joseph W. Jerge
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Fr. Edward W. Jungquist
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Fr. Thomas C. Kelley
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Fr. Gerard (Gerald, Gerry) H. Krebs
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Fr. Jerry Kucan, OFM
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Former Fr. Fidelis G. Lazar, OSB
    Left ministry prior to his death

    •Msgr. Louis Lorei
    Believed to have died restricted from ministry (records unclear as to final status)

    •Msgr. Daniel Martin
    Restricted from ministry (abuse reported during retirement/physical-health-leave and later, after death)

    •Fr. Joseph F. Meisinger
    Was able to function (abuse reported after his death)

    •Former Brother Edmundus Murphy, SVD
    Left ministry prior to his death

    •Fr. John L. Murray
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Fr. Giles L. Nealen, OSB
    Was unable to function (was already confined to infirmary when abuse was reported)

    •Fr. Andrew W. Pawlaczyk
    Was able to function (abuse reported after death)

    •Fr. John A. Piatkowski
    Believed to have died with ability to function (records unclear as to final status)

    •Former Fr. William F. Presley
    Dismissed from the clergy

    •Msgr. Joseph V. Reszkowski
    Was able to function (abuse reported after his death)

    •Fr. John P. Schanz
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Fr. Charles A. Sheets, Jr.
    Forbidden to function as a priest

    •Sr. Mary Carmel Skeabeck, SSJ
    (Charlotte Skeabeck)
    Former teacher

    •Vincent “Vance” Valentine
    Former lay school employee

    •Bishop Alfred M. Watson

    •Bishop of Erie (failed to act to stop abuse which was credibly reported to him)

* The diocese had no records indicating that the abuse had been reported years ago, but new information confirms allegations had been submitted but were not on record.

We also find it important to recognize the survivors who have reported abuse, even when the report cannot be investigated fully. Allegations of abuse from decades ago often can be neither proved nor disproved due to a lack of living witnesses or corroborating evidence. The Diocese of Erie is profoundly grateful for the courage demonstrated by the individuals that have come forward to make these allegations known but regrets that, with no way to corroborate these allegations, they cannot be listed here. Nonetheless, the Diocese of Erie always welcomes any additional information that can shed light on past cases of abuse.

These individuals are currently under investigation, and each is presumed innocent unless proved otherwise:

    •Jonathan Borkowski — Fairview, Pennsylvania

    •Fr. Sean P. Kerins — Erie, Pennsylvania

    •Former Fr. Thomas M. Lechner — laicized, Sewickley, Pennsylvania

    •Fr. Richard Lynch — deceased

    •Msgr. H. Desmond McGee — DuBois, Pennsylvania

    •Frank J. Mariella, Sr. — deceased

    •Fr. Jan Olowin — retired, Phoenix, Arizona

    •Fr. Robert A. Pudlo (failed to act to stop abuse which was credibly reported to him) — deceased

    •Msgr. Joseph V. Reszkowski — deceased

    •Fr. William A. Rice — retired, Fryburg, Pennsylvania

    •Msgr. Thomas Snyderwine — retired, Erie, Pennsylvania

Awaiting trial

    •Robert D. Viszneki
    •Former parish volunteer

Finally, in some cases, reports were made out of an abundance of caution rather than because of specific abuse that was perpetrated.  In these cases, referrals are made to appropriate law-enforcement agencies, as well as analyzed by the Diocese of Erie’s investigators. Where both secular law enforcement and diocesan investigators concluded that a report is unfounded, the names of the reported individuals involved will not be publicized.

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