Fr. Russell E. Motsay – Diocese of Scranton

Father Russell Motsay 

Diocese of Scranton

Russell Motsay  Diocese of Scranton Horowitz Law  

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 Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Russell Motsay:

Father Russell Motsay was ordained a priest in @ who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Scranton. According to media reports, 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.”

In 2018, he was first named publicly as accused in the PA Grand Jury Report.

Motsay is believed to be residing in the Carbondale, Pennsylvania, area, 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 may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania and nationwide. We can help. 

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