Five more named in ongoing Catholic Church investigation

Five additional names have been released by the Diocese of Erie in the ongoing investigation into sexual misconduct in the Catholic church.

In a Monday statement, the Diocese said that the names were added to the Public Disclosure List, which indicates that the individuals added are “credibly accused of actions that, in the diocese’s judgment, disqualify each person from working with children.”

Monday’s update includes three laypeople – all of which are living – one priest and one religious sister, who are both deceased.

In addition, four new names including two priests – one deceased and one living – a former priest who is still alive and a deceased layperson have been listed as under investigation.

The Diocese said that the total number of priests now sits at 49 in addition to 26 laypeople

“It is the first time a religious sister has been included on the list,” the Diocese said.

Those living who are deemed credibly accused include Ronald Keith Allison, former lay teacher, Erie; Lewis A. Kocher, former choir director, Springfield, Ohio; James E. Herzing, former lay teacher, St. Marys and Fr. David Poulson, forbidden to function as a priest, Oil City.

Those who are deceased and credibly accused include Fr. Patrick J. Healy, who was able to function as the abuse was reported after his death; Msgr. Joseph V. Rezkowski, was also able to function as the abuse was reported after his death and Sr. Mary Carmel Skeabeck, SSJ, also known as Charlotte Skeabeck, a former teacher.

The four individuals identified as under investigation include Msgr. H. Desmond McGee, retired, Dubois; Fr. Robert A. Pudlo, who is accused of failure to act on credible reports and is deceased; Frank J. Mariella, Sr., deceased and former Fr. Thomas M. Lechner, laicized, Sewickley, Pa.

“The name of Msgr. Reszkowski, deceased, is not new to the list, but has been moved from under investigation to among those credibly accused,” the Diocese said. “In addition, Father David Poulson, who pleaded guilty… Oct. 27, has also been moved to the list of those with credible allegations.”

A spelling change was also included in this update for former parish volunteer Robert D. Viszneki, listed as “awaiting trial.”


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