Fr. William B. Yockey – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father William B. Yockey

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. William Yockey Horowitz Law

Ordained: October 1, 1977

Withdrawn from Ministry: July 25, 1991

Assigned as follows:

  • 10/13/1977-10/01/1978: Assumption Church, Bellevue, PA
  • 10/02/1978-6/28/1983: St. Bernadette, Monroeville, PA
  • 6/29/1983-5/31/1984: Department of Social & Community Development, Diocese of Pittsburgh
  • 6/29/1983-5/31/1984: St. Canice, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 6/01/1984-2/16/1986: St. Therese of Lisieux, Munhall, PA
  • 2/17/1986-10/11/1987: St. Winifred, Mt. Lebanon, PA
  • 10/12/1987-1/22/1989: Allegheny County Jail
  • 1/23/1989-7/25/1991: Chaplain/Coordinator, Allegheny County Jail
  • 1/23/1989-4/20/1989: St. Luke, Carnegie, PA (In Reserve)
  • 4/21/1989-7/25/1991: St. Anthony, Bridgeville, PA (In Reserve)
  • 7/25/1991: Leave of Absence

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father William Yockey:

In May of 1991, a gentleman, age 25, met with a priest with the Diocese of Pittsburgh and alleged that he had been sexually molested by Father William Yockey at the age of 16. He also stated that a friend of his had also been sexually molested by Yockey at the age of 18 during the same time period.

The gentlemen indicated they had gotten to know Yockey during his first parish assignment when they were in 6th or 7th grade. They became friends with Yockey and when Yockey was transferred to a new parish assignment and the friendship continued. Yockey would often take them to his cabin outside the city to go fishing and always allow them to drink beer.

On one occasion when one of the victims spent a night at Father Yockey’s new assignment, he indicated that Yockey sexually molested him in October of 1981. The pair had returned to the rectory following a Halloween party and both had been drinking.

The victim fell asleep on the couch in Yockey’s den and, at some point, the victim fell off the couch and found Yockey fondling his genitals. Yockey then got on top of the victim and tried to kiss him.

Another victim alleged a similar situation at another parish assignment in 1983. The second victim was 18 years of age at the time. Once again, alcohol was involved by both Father Yockey and the second victim, who passed out and awoke to find Yockey feeling his genitals and attempting to kiss his genitals.

When Yockey was confronted about these allegations on May 20, 1991, he confirmed that the incident with the first victim, age 16, was true. When asked about the allegations regarding the second victim, age 18, Father Yockey did not recall anything, but he did note that they were probably drinking and that it was not impossible and won’t deny it, but he cannot remember it.

Following these accusations, Yockey was put on administrative leave from his assignment as chaplain to the Allegheny County Jail.

On July 18, 1991, Yockey sent a letter of resignation to Bishop Donald Wuerl.

On December 17, 2013, an additional allegation was made by an individual who stated that he was molested as a young boy by Yockey. The victim attended St. Bernadette, where Yockey was assigned from 1978 to 1983. While the boy attended the parish, Yockey began to molest him.

The victim stated that Yockey performed oral sex on him in the rectory, in Yockey’s car, and even at his aunt’s home. The victim was offered counseling by the Diocese.

Although the Diocese of Pittsburgh had information regarding alleged criminal actions on the part of Yockey as far back as the year 1986, there was only one document located in their files that was dated January 6, 2014, that illustrated a report to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office. The document was dated January 6, 2014. There was no mention of the history of Yockey’ s reported sexual assaults.

Father Yockey Continues Working with Children After Leaving the Ministry

Because none of Yockey’s abuses or assaults were reported to officials, Yockey was able to become a licensed social worker. When he initially began work in the field in 2006, the Veterans Administration called for a reference check on Yockey and the diocese did not disclose the Yockey’s admission to sexually molesting a minor or of allegations against him, according to the grand jury report.

According to the Meadville Tribune, Yockey was also able to obtain employment at Community Counseling Center in 2017, a place in Ohio where adults and children with mental illness and substance abuse problems are treated because no criminal record showed up when Community Counseling did a background check.

Upon learning of the past allegations in September 2018, Community Counseling Center terminated Yockey immediately.

Yockey remains a licensed as a social worker in Ohio and 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 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 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.