Category: Sex

Fr. Peter Karalus – Diocese of Buffalo

Fr. Peter Karalus

Diocese of Buffalo

Peter Karalus Horowitz Law

 

Ordained: 1997

Placed on Leave: 2020

Assigned as Follows:

  • Epiphany of Our Lord Parish (Langford, NY)
  • St. Gabriel (Elma, NY)
  • St. Joseph and St. Mary Parishes (Albion, NY)
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Lake View, NY)
  • St. Vincent (North Evans, NY)
  • St. John Paul II Parish (Lake View, NY)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Peter J. Karalus:

According to the Buffalo News, in March of 2020, Father Peter J. Karalus was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. Karalus is one of the closest aides to acting Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, and was placed on administrative leave while an independent investigator looks into the allegations made against him. The claim involved an incident that allegedly took place in 2011, when the man who came forward, was still a minor. According to authorities, Karalus denies the allegation against him and furthermore, denies any wrongdoing on his part. 

“The complaint that we received refers only to some words that were allegedly stated by Father Karalus during a confession,” according to one of his attorneys. Father Karalus claims that he did not recall the conversation that was referenced in the complaint, but does admit that he recalls the young man and his family. Father Karalus was serving at St. John Paul II Parish in Lakeview when the alleged incident occurred. As vicar general and moderator of the curia for the diocese, Karalus holds one of the highest positions in the Buffalo Diocese. While the investigation proceeds, Karalus has the ability to attend Mass, but will not be allowed to function as the diocese’s number two administrator. 

The results of the investigation will be referred to an independent review board for further review. 

 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo and throughout New York.  The Diocese of Buffalo filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Buffalo may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your legal options today.

Fr. Donald Verhagen – Diocese of Phoenix

Fr. Donald Verhagen

Diocese of Phoenix

Donald Verhagen Horowitz Law

 

Ordained: 1945

Retired: 1996

Died: 2001

Assigned as Follows:

  • St. Nazianz Seminary (St. Nazianz, WI)
  • St. Mary’s High School (Lancaster, NY)
  • Marian High School (Mishawaka, IN)
  • St. Pius X Parish (Wauwatosa, WI)
  • St. Mark’s Parish (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Queen of Peace Parish (Mesa, AZ)
  • St. Rita in the Desert Parish (Vail, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Donald Verhagen:

According to media reports, In February of 2020, two new lawsuits were filed by two children who were sexually abused by Catholic priests almost 40 years prior in an Arizona Catholic parish, and claimed that the Diocese of Phoenix covered up the problem. According to the press conference that released the lawsuits, the alleged abuse dates back to the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. 

One of the lawsuits was filed by a woman who alleged that Father Donald R. Verhagen and Father James Bretl sexually abused her in the same parish, around the same time period. She did not want to share her real name, and is labeled as Jane Doe in the suit. Vergaen died in 2001, and Bretl died in 2010. Both of the priests were affiliated with the Society of the Divine Savior USA Province, a religious order based in Milwaukee that is also known as the Salvatorians. They were also both assigned to St. Mark’s Catholic School in Phoenix.

The Phoenix diocese declined to comment on the specific allegations in both lawsuits, but did say in a statement that Verhagen and Bretl had no prior allegations brought against them. They also released a statement that they are working in close cooperation with law enforcement, and will review the allegations against the two former-priests. No further information has been released. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Contact us at (954) 641-2100 (or toll-free at (888) 283-9922). Email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com 

Fr. William C. Pierce – Diocese of Camden

Fr. William C. Pierce

Diocese of Camden

 

Ordained: 1971

Retired: 2010

 

Assigned as Follows:

  • 1971-1974 St. Ann Parish (Wildwood, NJ)
  • 1995-1998 St. Matthew (National Park, NJ)
  • 1998-2000 St. Joan of Arc (Camden, NJ)
  • 2000-2010 St. John Bosco Parish (Millville, NJ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father William C. Pierce:

In March of 1999, an Atlantic City man filed a four-count complaint against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden and four priests, charging unwanted homosexual advances during his days as a seminary student. According to the victim, he claimed that the incidents all occured after he began his religious studies in the mid 1980’s, and went on for about 8-9 years. He alleged that Father William C. Pierce and Father Anthony J. Manuppella discussed homosexual lifestlyes and urged him to visit gay bars with them. The suit also claims that Father Pierce talked frequently about “sexual acts prohibited by the teachings and customs of the Roman Catholic Church.” 

The lawsuit states that Father William P. Brennan and Father John T. Frey, both supervisors, did not stop the improper activity that was brought to their attention by the accuser. Brennan was also accused of acting in “an abusive and hostile manner and created a hostile working and educational environment.” 

In November of 1993, the Diocese granted the victim’s request for a voluntary leave of absence. When he did not return, the Diocese terminated his candidacy for the priesthood in August of 1995. Following the termination, the victim received a letter from Father John T. Frey, the Director of Vocations. The letter was informing him that he owed the Diocese a total of $69,002.57 for his tution, books, loans, and even counseling. Eventually, the lawsuit was dismissed when New Jersey’s highest court decided the matter violated the Fire Amendment’s Free Exercise of Religion Clause. 

According to news reports, Father William C. Pierce retired from the priesthood in October of 2010. He was last known living in New Jersey, but his status as a priest and where he went after his retirement is unknown. 

 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Camden. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Camden now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims, but filing deadlines apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

Fr. James Bretl – Diocese of Phoenix

Fr. James Bretl

Diocese of Phoenix

Jame Bretl Horowitz Law

 

Ordained: 1965

Retired: 2006

Died: 2010

Assigned as Follows:

  • St. Theresa Church (Carson City, NV)
  • Chaplain at Arizona State Mental Hospital (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Director of Pastoral Care (Various locations in the Midwest)
  • St. Catherine Catholic Church (McMinneville, TN)
  • St. Gregory Catholic Church (Smithville, TN)
  • St. Mark’s Catholic School (Phoenix, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James Bretl:

According to media reports, In February of 2020, two new lawsuits were filed by two children who were sexually abused by Catholic priests. The alleged abuse occured almost 40 years prior in an Arizona Catholic parish, and the victims also claimed that the Diocese of Phoenix covered up the problem. According to the press conference that released the lawsuits, the alleged abuse dates back to the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. 

One of the lawsuits was filed by a woman who alleged that Father Donald R. Verhagen and Father James Bretl sexually abused her in the same parish, around the same time period. She was under the age of 15 when the alleged abuse started. She did not want to share her real name, and is labeled as Jane Doe in the suit. Vergaen died in 2001, and Bretl died in 2010. Both of the priests were affiliated with the Society of the Divine Savior USA Province, a religious order based in Milwaukee that is also known as the Salvatorians. They were also both assigned to St. Mark’s Catholic School in Phoenix during the 1970’s and 1980’s. 

The Phoenix diocese declined to comment on the specific allegations in both lawsuits, but did say in a statement that both Verhagen and Bretl had no prior allegations brought against them. They also released a statement that they are working in close cooperation with law enforcement, and will review the allegations against the two former-priests. No further information has been released. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Contact us at (954) 641-2100 (or toll-free at (888) 283-9922). Email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com 

Fr. James J. Walsh – Diocese of Scranton

Father James J. Walsh 

Diocese of Scranton 

 

Fr. James Walsh Horowitz Law

 

Ordained: 1972

Resigned/Removed: 2020

Assigned as Follows:

  • 1973 St. Ann’s (Tobyhanna, PA) 
  • 1973 Holy Rosary (Scranton, PA)
  • 1974 St. Clare (Scranton, PA)
  • 1975 Cathedral of St. Peter (Scranton, PA)
  • 1978 St. Ann’s (Tobyhanna, PA)
  • 1979 St. Gregory Church (Clarks Green, PA)
  • 1983 St. John the Evangelist 
  • 1984 St. Patricks (Olyphant, PA)
  • 1985 St. Francis Parish (Nanticoke, PA)
  • 1985 St. Joseph Parish (White Mills, PA)
  • 1991 St. Mary Parish (Avoca, PA)
  • 1996 Sacred Heart of Mary (Jermyn, PA)
  • 2006 Our Lady of Sorrows Parish (West Wyoming, PA)
  • 2006 St. Joseph Parish (Wyoming, PA)
  • 2009 St. Francis of Assisi (Scranton, PA)
  • 2009 St. Patrick Parish (Scranton, PA)
  • 2013 St. Joseph Parish (Matamoras, PA)
  • 2015 St. Maria Goretti (Laflin, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James J. Walsh:

On March 6th, 2019, the Diocese of Scranton received an allegation of sexual assault involving Father James J. Walsh. The alleged incident took place in 1979, while Walsh was serving at the Church of Saint Gregory in Clarks Green. The victim who came forward was an adult at the time of the alleged assault. 

During the course of the investigation, the Diocese received another allegation involving inappropriate behavior with an adult by Father Walsh. The investigator fully investigated the allegation, as well as two prior reports of possible misconduct involving Walsh. He denied each allegation. 

The Diocese did deem the allegations against him credible, and Father Walsh was informed of the bishop’s intention to remove him as a pastor. He submitted his resignation as pastor of Saint Maria Goretti Parish shortly thereafter. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Scranton.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Scranton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

DIOCESE OF SCRANTON PRIEST RESIGNS FOLLOWING SEXUAL ASSAULT ALLEGATION

SCRANTON PRIEST ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, the Diocese of Scranton announced the resignation of Father James J. Walsh, pastor of Saint Maria Goretti Parish in Laflin, following an investigation into an allegation of sexual assault that occurred in 1979. The alleged abuse occurred while Father Walsh was serving as assistant pastor at the Church of St. Gregory in Clarks Green. The diocese said the allegation did not involve a minor and notified the district attorney’s office immediately upon learning of the incident.

The Diocese of Scranton hired a professional investigator to conduct the investigation. It was then that another allegation involving Father Walsh’s inappropriate behavior with an adult was discovered. Additionally, two prior reports of possible misconduct involving Walsh were reviewed.

Father Walsh denied all allegations, but diocesan officials deemed the allegations to be credible. When Bishop Joseph C. Bambera told Walsh he was going to remove him as Pastor, Father Walsh resigned from ministry.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims on behalf of those who were sexually abused by clergy of all religious denominations.  If you or someone you know was sexually abused by a clergy member of any religious faith, please contact our law firm today at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Fr. Brian Mead – Diocese of Burlington

Father Brian Mead

Diocese of Burlington

Ordained: 1969

Removed: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • 1969                Cathedral (Burlington,VT)
  • 1969-1971      St. Monica (Barre, VT)
  • 1971-1973      St. Peter (Rutland, VT)
  • 1973-1974      St. Thomas and Vocations Office (Underhill, VT)
  • 1974                St. Mary (Brandon, VT) 
  • 1974-1976      St. Mary (Springfield, VT)
  • 1976-1988      Vermont Catholic Charities (Rutland, VT)
  • 1986-1998      Our Lady of Grace (Colchester, VT)
  • 1998-2002      St. Charles (Bellows Falls, VT)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Brian Mead:

According to media reports, in 1996, a man told Bishop Kenneth A. Angell that Father Brian Mead sexually abused him for six years, beginning when he was age 11. He said Father Mead bought him gifts, took him on trips out of state, slept in the same bed with him, and touched his bare buttocks underneath his pajamas. Despite this, no action was taken and the priest was kept in ministry. His accuser eventually received a settlement with a confidentiality requirement. 

In May 2002, Father Mead was placed on leave after the Diocese of Burlington submitted his name along with twenty other priests, to be investigated by the Attorney General’s office. In October 2002, he was charged with multiple counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child. 

Father Mead resigned in January 2003. In a 2004 letter to the diocese, Father Mead wrote that he had “made mistakes in overstepping some boundaries” but denied that he was a pedophile. 

He said, “Perhaps in the hugging at my bedside I may have patted him on the backside in a way like football players do.”

His faculties were revoked in December 2004. 

In October 2018, he was first named publicly as accused by a news outlet. In August 2019, his name appeared on the Diocese of Burlington’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.

His current whereabouts are unknown. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Burlington.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Burlington, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Burlington now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. John Stankiewicz (Edmundite) – Diocese of Burlington

Father John Stankiewicz

Diocese of Burlington

Ordained: 1941

Died: 2000

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Michael’s College (Colchester, VT)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John Stankiewicz:

Father John Stankiewicz, an Edmundite priest, served in Vermont for many years until he retired in 1989. According to media reports, in 1992, he was accused by two people of child sexual abuse in the 1950’s. The order paid for the victims’ counseling. 

Father Stankiewicz was inducted to the order’s St. Michael’s College Athletic Hall of Fame. He died in 2000.

In September 2019, his name appeared on the Edmundite order’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. The morning after the list was posted, college officials removed a plaque honoring him.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Burlington.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Burlington, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Burlington now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Paul Plouffe – Diocese of Burlington

Father Paul Plouffe

Diocese of Burlington

Ordained: 1945

Died: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Edmund’s Junior Seminary (Swanton, VT)
  • St. Edmund’s College (Pontigny, France)
  • Saint Elizabeth’s, Good Samaritan Hospital (Selma
  • Saint Edmund of Canterbury (Whitton, England) 
  • Brentwood Diocesan Traveling Mission (Stock, England)
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Stock, England)
  • St. Mary’s (Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada) 
  • Saint Edmund of Canterbury (Whitton, England) 
  • Holy Cross (Boucherville, Quebec, Canada) 
  • Saint Edmund-by-the-Sea (Dauphin Island, AL) 
  • St. Michael’s (Heron Bay, AL)
  • St. Peter Claver (New Orleans, LA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Paul Plouffe:

Father Paul Plouffe was a member of the Society of Saint Edmund for 64 years and an ordained priest for 59 years. He died in 2004. According to media reports, in 2006, an allegation of the abuse of a minor in Vermont in 1946 was received. 

In September 2019, his name appeared on the Edmundite order’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Burlington.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Burlington, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Burlington now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. John Milanese – Diocese of Burlington

Father John Milanese

Diocese of Burlington

Ordained: 1974

Removed: 2002

Reinstated: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • Christ the King Church (Rutland, VT)
  • St. Mary’s Church (Middlebury, VT)
  • Our Lady of the Angels (formerly Sts. Donatian and Rogatian)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John Milanese:

According to media reports, in May 2005, Father John Milanese was placed on leave after an allegation was brought against him that he abused an 8-year-old boy in the mid 1980s. He denied the accusations and passed a polygraph test. No criminal charges were filed. After the church investigated he returned to active ministry in October 2002. The alleged victim is now in jail. 

He has “a long litany of problems, poor fellow. He’s in jail,” Father Milanese said. “I tried my best to help him when he was younger and God knows I did my best. There was never anything inappropriate in that time.”

In September 2019, Father Milanese retired from ministry after 45 years of ministry.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Burlington.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Burlington, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Burlington now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.