Fr. Francis Pucci – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father Francis Pucci

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Francis Pucci Diocese of Pittsburgh Horowitz Law

 

 

Ordained: 1957

Retired: 1992

Died: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • 6/13/1957 -11/28/1961: St. Vitus (New Castle, PA)
  • 11/29/1961- 6/16/1962: Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Braddock, PA)
  • 6/17/1962 -5/12/1965: St. Vitus (New Castle, PA)
  • 5/13/1965 -6/06/1966: St. Mary (McKeesport, PA)
  • 6/07/1966 -6/09/1968: Epiphany (Uptown, PA)
  • 6/10/1968 -3/27/1969: Lawrenceville Catholic
  • 3/28/1969 -6/14/1970: South Side Catholic (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • 6/15/1970 -5/21/1972: St. Januarius (Renton, PA)
  • 5/22/1972 -7/01/1973: St. Eugene (Liberty Boro, PA)
  • 7/02/1973 -10/05/1980: Purification (Ellwood City, PA)
  • 10/06/1980- 9/29/1981: St. Joseph (Coraopolis, PA)
  • 9/30/1981 -6/30/1984: St. Alphonsus (McDonald, PA)
  • 7/01/1984 -2/14/1987: Our Lady of Lourdes (Burgettstown, PA)
  • 2/15/1987 -10/29/1987: Immaculate Conception (Washington, PA)
  • 10/29/1987- 2/10/1992: Leave of Absence, Health Reasons

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Francis Pucci:

Father Francis Pucci was ordained a priest in 1957, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, in April 2002 an allegation of sexual abuse was made to the Diocese of Pittsburgh. An adult male revealed that  fondled him to the point of ejaculation in 1962 when he was a minor at St. Vitus school.

Additionally, in February 2004, a sexual abuse allegation was made to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office. An adult male advised that Pucci engaged in inappropriate sexual touching with him in 1988 at a church. This occurred when he was a minor.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh received another allegation of sexual abuse in September 2007. A third adult male victim reported that Pucci engaged in inappropriate sexual touching with him when he was a minor. This conduct occurred at a church in Coraopolis. Records indicate that the male victim never moved forward with the complaint after the initial allegation was made.

More Allegations Against Father Pucci Surface

In November 2014, the Diocese received a report from a fourth adult male victim that Pucci engaged in inappropriate sexual touching with him from 1981 to 1982 at a church in Coraopolis. He stated that he was an altar server during that time period and Pucci would instruct him to wear either nothing or jock straps underneath his cassocks. Pucci would also pat his buttocks along with the buttocks of other altar servers. The male also reported this information to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.

In December 2014, a fifth adult male victim reported to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office that Pucci engaged in inappropriate sexual touching with him when he was a minor. He stated that the abuse occurred from 1981 to 1982 at a church in Allegheny County.

In May 2016, the Washington County District Attorney’s Office received a report from a sixth male victim who wished to remain anonymous. The male alleged that Pucci had engaged in inappropriate sexual touching with him in 1983 at a church in McDonald.

Several months later, in October 2016, a seventh adult male reported to the Diocese that Pucci engaged in inappropriate sexual touching with him in 1980 at a church in Coraopolis. Information pertaining to allegations of sexual abuse involving Pucci were also contained within the file of Father Robert Wolk. Wolk was apparently a friend of Pucci’ s in the Diocese.

Pucci Named in Lawsuits Against Additional Priests

In addition to the direct allegations, Pucci was named in lawsuits against other priests, including Robert Wolk and Richard Zula.

In August 1988, two victims filed a lawsuit against the Pittsburgh Diocese. The two victims name Father Robert Wolk as a defendant in the sexual assaults, along with Father Francis Pucci and Father Richard Zula. Victim one alleges Pucci sexually assaulted him. On or about September of 1988, the victims reported the assaults to law enforcement.

In November 1988, Pucci was charged with sexually abusing victim one. More specific, in the summer of 1986, at the Marianna Parish House, where Zula resided at the time, Pucci touched and fondled the first victim’s genitals.

According to articles from the Associated Press and Pittsburgh Post -Gazette, Washington County District Attorney John Pettit, filed the sexual abuse charges against three Roman Catholic priests for allegedly molesting two brothers who were altar boys, and accused the church of foot-dragging during the investigation.

Pettit charged the Rev. Richard F. Zula, the Rev. Robert Wolk, and the Rev. Francis Pucci. It was reported that all three men were relieved of their pastoral duties, yet Pucci’s record shows that he took a leave of absence for “health reasons.” There is no mention of sexual abuse allegations.

Pucci was also charged with conspiracy for allowing the Rev. Richard Zula to have sexual activity with one of the boys at the Our Lady of Lourdes parish house in Burgettstown, Washington County, in 1986. At the time, Father Pucci was the pastor there.

The charges against Father Pucci were dropped after officials determined the statute of limitations had expired.

Father Francis Pucci was first named publicly as accused in a priest profile in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. A total of nine allegations of sexual abuse were made against , yet he was never criminally prosecuted for a single charge.

Pucci is now deceased and is buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Monongahela, Washington County, Pennsylvania.

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 Diocese of Pittsburgh may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

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