Diocese of Erie
Serving roughly 221,508 Catholics, the Diocese of Erie includes thirteen counties in northwestern Pennsylvania—Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Warren, Forest, Clarion, Jefferson, Elk, McKean, Clearfield, Cameron and Potter—and is divided into three sections known as the Eastern, Northern and Western Vicaries. The diocese is primarily rural, with approximately 6,400 students enrolled in Catholic elementary, middle and high school education.
In August 2018, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury uncovered evidence of child sexual abuse committed by priests in the Diocese of Erie and that several Diocesan administrators, including the Bishops, often dissuaded victims from reporting abuse to police, pressured law enforcement to terminate or avoid an investigation, or conducted their own biased investigating without reporting crimes against children to the proper authorities. In the report, the Grand Jury highlights the wholesale institutional failure that endangered the welfare of children across Dioceses, noting examples of child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests within the Diocese of Erie –¬ including the cases of Fathers Chester “Chet” Gawronski, William Presley, and Thomas Smith. Read the complete 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report.
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From simply listening to your story without judgment to assistance navigating the complexities of compensation programs and statutes of limitations, we are ready to help Pennsylvania child sex abuse survivors find justice and healing. Our law firm of legal professionals and advocates has more than three decades of experience working with survivors of sexual abuse and litigating cases against Catholic dioceses and religious orders nationwide. Contact us today. Your information will remain completely confidential.
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Clergy Accused of Child Sexual Abuse in The Diocese of Erie
The list below contain the names of clergy who were assigned within or working in the Pennsylvania Diocese of Erie who have been accused of sexual misconduct. While lawsuits were filed involving many of these alleged perpetrators, the vast majority of the claims against these individuals have been settled or have not been fully evaluated in a civil or criminal court. Accordingly, the allegations should be considered just allegations and should not be considered proved or substantiated in a court of law.
All individuals should be considered innocent until proven guilty. In some situations, the statute of limitations has expired preventing cases from being heard in a court of law. The information contained herein is an attempt to compile information already available to the public including information obtained from the media, www.bishopaccountability.org, the Diocese’s public statements, lists and reports that were released to the public, and other sources that have attempted to chronicle this information for public use.