Fr. Russell E. Motsay – Diocese of Scranton

Father Russell Motsay – Diocese of Scranton

Fr. Russell Motsay  Fr. Russell Motsay

Ordained:    1972

Resigned ministry: 2012

Removed from ministry: 2015

Assigned as follows:

  • 1972-1973        Most Precious Blood (Hazleton, PA)
  • 1973-1974        St. Aloysius (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
  • 1974-1975        St. Lawrence (Williamsport, PA)
  • 1975-1977        Sacred Heart (Peckville, PA)
  • 1977-1978        Our Lady of Grace (Hazleton, PA)
  • 1978-1982        St. John the Evangelist (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
  • 1982-1985        Holy Name of Jesus (Swoyersville, PA)
  • 1985-1989        St. James (Pleasant Mount, PA)
  • 1989-1996        St. Juliana (Rock Lake, PA)
  • 1996-2012        Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Carbondale, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Russell Motsay:

In 2012, a man identified only as “Jeff” emailed the Diocese of Scranton to report that he needed to speak with the bishop about sexual abuse by clergy.  The Diocese of Scranton passed the email on to the local District Attorney, who ultimately located the man. He reported that he was sexually abused by Father Russell Motsay, though the grand jury does not identify the dates or Motsay’s assignment at the time of the abuse. According to the man, he shared a bed with Motsay during overnights at the rectory, and would be fondled by Motsay, who was also aroused.

The criminal investigation identified four more victims, all of whom reported similar abuse by Motsay. Motsay admitted to abusing all of the men when interviewed.

Because the criminal statute of limitations had expired, Motsay was never charged for any of his crimes.  He was permanently removed from ministry (based upon his admission) in September 2015. According to the Diocese of Scranton, he has been “sentenced to a life of prayer and penance.”

Motsay is believed to be residing in the Carbondale, Pennsylvania, area. He is now 72 years old and remains a priest, albeit without faculties.

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 (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.