Category: Sex

Fr Claude Bender – Diocese of Camden

Father Claude Bender
Diocese of Camden

Ordained: 1965
Deceased: 1991

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Claude Bender:

In 1993, allegations against Father Claude Bender surfaced that he had abused a boy in the 1970s. The Diocese of Camden settled the claim for $25,000 in October 1993 and claims it did not learn of the allegations until after the priest was dead.

Bender was also accused of being part of John P. Kelly’s sex ring, that also allegedly included priests William Titmas, John Bernard, and Joe Shannon, which was included in a 1994 lawsuit against the Diocese of Camden. After nine years, the diocese settled the case for $880,000, admitting no wrongdoing. A total of 23 victims shared in the 2003 settlement.

Bender’s name appears on the list of credibly accused priests released by the Diocese of Camden in February 2019.

Bender died in 1991.

Contact us today.

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. Joseph Barber – Diocese of Camden

Father Joseph Barber
Diocese of Camden

Assigned as follows:

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Joseph Barber:

In 1994, Father Joseph Barber was named in a lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Camden that accused the church of covering up the alleged assaults and transferring priests to new parishes without telling the new church about offenders with past allegations.

Barber was included in the lawsuit because of an allegation that, in 1961, he raped a 6-year-old girl at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Berlin, New Jersey. The victim remembered the alleged incident in 1994 when she returned to the church to attend Mass.

After nine years, the diocese settled the case for $880,000, admitting no wrongdoing. A total of 23 victims shared in the 2003 settlement.

Barber is deceased, however, the exact year of his death is unclear.

Contact us today.

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. Peter Pilarski – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father Peter Pilarski

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. Peter Pilarski Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1959

Died: 2017

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Peter Pilarski:

In November 2018, the Diocese of Pittsburgh was sued by a man who alleged that he was sexually abused by Father Peter Pilarski in 1966 while Pilarski was assigned to Resurrection parish in West Mifflin.  The man says he was 15 at the time of the abuse.

According to the allegation in the lawsuit, Father Pilarski took the teen to sporting events, dinner and  trips to a friend’s cottage on a river, where the priest would insist on bathing the boy in the river while both were naked. There was also wrestling, touching and horseplay on other occasions.  During one encounter, the man said he woke up from a deep sleep, “groggy, unsure of what happened and believed he had been “drugged and abused” while unconscious.

Father Pilarski died in 2017 as a retired priest in good standing.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  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 Pittsburgh Diocese now have legal options to recover damages from a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Fr. John Unger – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father John Unger

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. John Unger Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1942

Died: 2004

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Unger:

In November 2018, a man sued the Diocese of Pittsburgh alleging that he was sexually abused by Father John Unger from 1969 until 1971, starting when he was in fourth grade.  Unger was a priest at Sacred Heart parish. The man said that Unger would take him out of class at the parish grammar school to help with chores. The man said that Unger sexually abused him multiple times in the school and church buildings.

He also says that Unger threatened to harm him and his family if he ever told anyone.

Unger died in 2004 as a retired priest in good standing.  

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  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 Pittsburgh Diocese now have legal options to recover damages from a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Fr. George Leech – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. George Leech

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. George Leech Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1956

Retired: 1999

Died: 2006

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father George Leech:

In November 2018, the Diocese of Pittsburgh was sued by a man alleging that he was sexually abused by Fr. George Leech on multiple occasions in the early 1960s while the priest was assigned to St. Bartholomew.  

According to media reports, the man says that on 10 to 12 occasions, Leech showed up at a neighborhood ice skating rink, where he grabbed at the boy’s genitals while kissing him on the forehead, even reaching from behind when the boy would turn away. He also says that when and his classmates were being interviewed to be altar boys, the priest made them strip to their underwear to “determine what size smock they would need.”

The man said he reported the alleged abuse multiple times to the diocese in 2008; according to the suit, the diocese said it would “get back” to him but did not.

Leech died in 2006 as a retired priest in good standing.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  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 Pittsburgh Diocese now have legal options to recover damages from a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Fr. Joseph Feltz – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. Joseph Feltz

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Joseph Feltz Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1979

Retired: October 2018

Suspended from ministry: Nov. 2018

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Joseph Feltz:

In November 2018, the Diocese of Pittsburgh announced that it had suspended the faculties of retired priest Fr. Joseph Feltz following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.  Feltz most recently served at St. Christopher parish in Prospect, Pennsylvania until his retirement in October 2018.

According to media reports, a man alleged that he was sexually abused by a group of pedophile priests including George Zirwas, Francis Pucci, Robert Wolk, and Richard Zula, in the mid-1980s.  All of these priests have been publicly accused by one or more other victims; some evidence suggests they often abused the same boys in tandem. In a lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Pittsburgh in November 2018, the man also said that Feltz participated in some of his sexual abuse in the rectory at St. Michael’s parish in Elizabeth Township.  

Feltz has denied the allegation.  His faculties remain suspended pending the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s internal investigation.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  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 Pittsburgh Diocese now have legal options to recover damages from a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Fr. John O’Brien – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. John O’Brien (a/k/a Br. Firmilian John)

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. John O'Brien Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1975 (after a long career as a Christian Brother)

Died: 2004

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John O’Brien (a/k/a Brother Firmilian John):

In February 2019, the Diocese of Pittsburgh announced that it received an allegation of sexual abuse against a former Christian Brother who later became a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

According to media reports, Father John O’Brien was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1975 following a long tenure as a Christian Brother.  During his time as a Christian Brother, he taught at Central Catholic High School, and was then-known as Brother Firmilian John.

According to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the allegation related to O’Brien’s assignment at Central Catholic High School in the 1960, prior to his ordination as a priest.  No additional details were released.

O’Brien died in 2004.  At the time of his death, he was a retired priest in good standing.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  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 Pittsburgh Diocese now have legal options to recover damages from a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

Fr. Steven Marinucci – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Steven Marinucci

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Fr. Steven Marinucci Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1974

Suspended: 2019

Assigned as follows:

  • 1974-1978 St. Bernard (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1975-1979 St. Hubert High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1978-1983 St. Bartholomew (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1983-1985 Our Lady of Fatima (Bensalem, PA)
  • 1985-1990 St. John the Evangelist (Morrisville, PA)
  • 1990-2000 St. Charles Borromeo Seminary (Wynnewood, PA)
  • 2000-2001 St. Clement (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 2001-2010 St. Agatha/St. James (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 2010-2019 St. Matthew (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Steven Marinucci:

In January 2019, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia received an allegation that Fr. Steven Marinucci sexually abused a minor child (whose age and gender were not released) during the 1970s, while he was assigned to St. Hubert’s High School for Girls and living at St. Bernard and St. Bartholomew.  

On February 3, 2019, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that it had suspended Marinucci pending a law enforcement investigation of the allegations.  Assuming that the Archdiocese follows its internal policies in such matters, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will conduct its own internal investigation at the same time.  

Marinucci is now 71 years old.  He has been an associate pastor at St. Matthew parish in Philadelphia since 2010.  Prior to that period, he worked from 2001 to 2010 at St. Agatha-St. James Parish, which serves University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University students.  He will remain suspended from active ministry pending the law enforcement and internal investigations.  

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  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 Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Craig T. Ward (Lay Agency Employee) – Diocese of Erie

Mr. Craig T. Ward
Diocese of Erie

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Mr. Craig T. Ward:

Mr. Craig T. Ward is listed in the Diocese of Erie’s public disclosure list of both priests and lay people associated with the church that have been credibly accused of actions that, in the diocese’s judgment, disqualify that person from working with children. According to the Diocese of Erie, everyone included on its 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.”

The Diocese of Erie has not released any information about the allegation(s) against Ward, including the age/gender of his victim(s) or the number of allegation(s) made against him. All that is known is that he was a lay agency employee in the Diocese of Erie at some point.

According to the Diocese of Erie, Ward still resides in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Contact us today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie. 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 Erie now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

Mr. Joseph Votino (Teacher/Coach) – Diocese of Erie

Mr. Joseph Votino
Diocese of Erie

Joseph Votino Horowitz Law
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Mr. Joseph Votino:

Joseph Votino was a fixture at Kennedy Catholic High School in the Diocese of Erie for nearly two decades. On March 30, 2001, a caller to a child abuse hotline informed authorities that Votino was having sexual relations with a student. At first, he denied any wrongdoing, but the school suspended Votino and eventually fired him.

Law enforcement said Voting engaged in sexual relations with three female students at Kennedy, all of whom were 17 at the time, between 2000 and 2001.

The investigation identified a fourth victim, but the criminal statute of limitations had expired in that case.

Votino pleaded guilty to a single count of corrupting the morals of a minor in a plea bargain, admitting having sex with the girls either at his home or at an undisclosed location in Sharon. Votino was sentenced to 1 year of incarceration.

Votino has since been released from prison and currently resides in Masury, Ohio, according to the Diocese of Erie.  He is not a registered sex offender.

Contact us today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie. 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 Erie now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.