Tag: Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse attorney

Fr. Robert Ryan – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Robert Ryan

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Robert Ryan Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1947

Died: 2005

Assigned as follows:

  • 1948-1956: St. Dorothy’s Church (Drexel Hill, PA)
  • 1957:          Holy Saviour Church (Linwood, PA)
  • 1958-1966: Holy Cross Church (Springfield, PA)
  • 1963:          Roman Catholic High School for Boys (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1964-1973: Cardinal O’Hara High School (Springfield, PA)
  • 1967-1975: St. Louis Church (Yeadon, PA)
  • 1974-1975: Roman Catholic High School for Boys (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1976-1994: St. Gertrude Church (West Conshohocken, PA)
  • 1995-1996: “Retired” – in residence at St. Gertrude Church (West Conshohocken, PA)
  • 1997-2005: “Retired” – in residence at St. Gabriel’s Hall (Audubon, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Robert Ryan:

Father Robert Ryan was ordained a priest in 1947 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. According to media reports, he was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy on two occasions from approximately 1962 to 1963. At the time of the alleged abuse, Father Ryan was assigned to Holy Cross Church in Springfield, Pennsylvania, and the boy was an altar boy at the church and a student at the nearby Holy Cross School.

Details of the abuse which occurred inside Holy Cross School included Father Ryan forcing the boy to remove all of his clothing for the priest. Father Ryan then whipped the boy’s bare back and buttocks with a leather belt multiple times. Afterwards, Father Ryan put his hands on the whipped parts of the boy’s body.

The claim settled in 2020 in the low five figures. Father Ryan died in December 2005.

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

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

Pennsylvania Moves Towards Justice for Child Sexual Abuse Victims

Pennsylvania Moves Towards Justice for Child Sexual Abuse Victims

House Passes Bill For Justice for Child Sexual Abuse Victims _ Horowitz Law

On Wednesday, January 27, House Bill 14 overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 187-15, which could lead to a temporary lifting of expired statute of limitations for some child sexual abuse victims, allowing them to file civil suits. The measure would create a two-year window during which civil lawsuits alleging childhood sexual abuse may be filed in court – notwithstanding any statute of limitations that had prevented such filings.  Similar measures have passed in New York, New Jersey, California, North Carolina, and Hawaii among other states.

The bill calls for amending the Pennsylvania constitution to create the “window” for victims to pursue claims, and it will requires voter approval.  It is a companion piece to an effort launched in 2018 by state Rep. Mark Rozzi to reform the state’s child sex crime laws in the wake of a set of stunning investigations into clergy sex abuse in Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

If House Bill 14 passes Senate, it could be on the ballot in May 2021. The Pennsylvania Senate judiciary committee has already approved a companion version of the legislation that passed the House Wednesday, and both chambers approved the proposed amendment last legislative session as well. The General Assembly must approve proposed state constitutional amendments in two consecutive sessions.

The proposed amendment to open a window for lawsuits comes after years of campaigning by abuse survivors, including intense lobbying since a 2018 grand jury report revealed that church leaders in six of the state’s Catholic dioceses had covered up abuse by 300 priests that took place over decades. Rozzi, a survivor of childhood abuse inflicted by a member of the Catholic clergy, hailed, “Victims deserve their day in court. Victims have waited long enough.”

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of child sexual abuse throughout Pennsylvania.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of sexual abuse. We can help.  

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

Fr. William McCandless – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father William McCandless

Archdiocese of Philadelphia (Oblates)

William McCandless Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1994

Assignment History:

  • 2005-2010: Salesianum High School (Wilmington, DE)
  • 2010-2017: St. Charles (Monaco)
  • 2017:           De Sales University (Center Valley, PA)
  • 2018-2020: Northeast Catholic High School (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father William McCandless:

Father William McCandless was ordained a priest of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in 1994 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He was a former principal of a Catholic all-boys high school in Wilmington. According to media reports, in December 2020, McCandless was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of collecting thousands of images of child pornography while serving overseas and bringing them with him to the United States. He was charged with three counts of child pornography, with possession of child pornography for importation into the US, transporting child pornography in interstate and foreign commerce, and attempting to access with intent to view child pornography.

According to charging documents, McCandless amassed a collection of thousands of images of child pornography, including some involving torture, while he was working overseas in Monaco. He brought them back to the United States when he returned in January 2017. During the investigation, records show that he also conducted internet searches for child pornography and things like how to get “off the grid, “how-to disappear,” and “how to erase items from the cloud.”

McCandless pleaded not guilty to the counts during an initial court appearance in Philadelphia. If convicted, he faces as many as 60 years in prison. Fr. McCandless was ordered to be placed on home incarceration with electronic monitoring and to surrender his passport because he has frequently traveled overseas.

The investigation into Fr. McCandless has been going on for more than three years, which isn’t his first allegation. In October 2010, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called for his suspension when his name surfaced in court proceedings after McCandless allegedly admitted to the abuse of a 14-year-old French boy during a church camp.

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

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

Fr. Theodore Podson

Father Theodore “Ted” Podson (Piarist Fathers) 

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Theodore "Ted" Podson Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1976

Removed: 2012

Assigned as follows:

  • Calasanctius School (Buffalo, NY)
  • St. Francis Catholic Church (Amarillo, TX)
  • Devon Prep School (Devon, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Theodore “Ted” Podson:

Father Theodore “Ted” Podson, a priest of the Piarist order, was ordained in 1976 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  considered a “cool” teacher for many years in the late 1970s and early 1980s at Calasanctius School for gifted children in Buffalo, NY. He was known for leading week long field trips across the country with students. 

According to media reports, in 1993, he was suspended from his position at Devon Prep School in Pennsylvania amid allegations Podson repeatedly sexually abused a male seventh or eighth grade student while on a trip to Greece. He was sent to St. Luke’s Institute, a church-run hospital in Maryland for treatment. He was not publicly identified, charged or removed from active ministry. 

In 1994, he was one of five religious order priests identified as “guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor,” on a list compiled by Monsignor William J. Lynn. By 1995, he served as pastor and prison chaplain at St. Francis Church in Amarillo, Texas. He resigned suddenly in June 2002, three days after the U.S. Conference of Bishops stated it would remove any priest who had sexually abused minors.

By 2003, Father Podson relocated to the Philippines and worked as a hospital chaplain on the island of Cebu. According to media reports, in August 2012, he was removed from ministry after a series of articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer traced his path from Buffalo, where his conduct at Calasanctius was questioned, to Philadelphia, where he was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy on a class trip. 

In August 2018, a spokesman for the Diocese of Buffalo said, “In 2003, the Diocese of Buffalo received a complaint against Father Podson alleging abuse many years earlier. In accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Diocese forwarded the complaint to the Piarist Provincial and to the Archdiocese of Washington where Father Podson was listed as a resident at the time.”

In November 2018, Father Podson’s name appeared on the Diocese of Buffalo’s updated list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. He was accused in 2019 in two Child Victims Act lawsuits of molesting a 12-year-old student and a 13-year-old student while he taught at Calasanctius. 

He was granted Filipino citizenship, and currently lives on a small island in the Philippines, where he has promoted himself as a mentor to teenagers and rented an apartment that he opened up to “teen scholars.” In the citizenship petition, posted online, a local legislator wrote: “Father Podson has greatly contributed to the moral, spiritual and social growth of the Philippines.”

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

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

Fr. John R. Liggio – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father John Liggio (Augustinian)

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

John Liggio Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1975

Removed: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • Malvern Preparatory School (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John Liggio:

Father John Liggio was ordained an Augustinian priest in 1975 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  He served as a teacher of religion and campus ministry director at Malvern Prep School. The Augustinian order, which has regional headquarters in Villanova had founded Malvern. According to media reports, in late 2002, he was placed on leave amid allegations that he repeatedly sexually abused a 15-year-old male student from 1997 through 1998 when the boy was a student at the 170-year-old private Catholic boys’ school for grades 6 through 12 in Chester County.

The lawsuit states that in December 2002, the priest’s accuser told the Malvern Prep headmaster that Father Liggio had sexually abused him, but the headmaster said he did not believe the plaintiff and would not confront Father Liggio with the allegations “because he did not want to ruin his holiday.” Father Liggio denied the allegations.

In January 2003, the District Attorney’s office launched an investigation, and in September of that year, declined to file charges citing insufficient evidence. A civil suit was filed in July 2012. It is believed Father Liggio currently lives in Hudson, FL.

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

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

Fr. Terrance Pinkowski – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Terrance Pinkowski (Franciscan)

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Terrance Pinkowski Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1949

Died: 1991

Assigned as follows:

  • Archbishop Ryan High School (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Terrance Pinkowski:

Father Terrance Pinkowski was ordained a priest of the Franciscan order in 1949 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served as a teacher and counselor at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia. According to media reports, in 1992, he was named in a civil suit alleging he repeatedly sexually abused a 14-year-old student in 1976 through 1981, until he was almost 20 years old. The boy was a member of prayer group known as the Charismatics, led by the priest. 

As the boy grew up, Father Pinkowski told him that the abuse was “therapy,” a part of his spiritual preparation for ordination. The boy had planned to become a priest and Pinkowski became his mentor and spiritual counselor, as well as a close family friend.

When the alleged victim went to officials, the head of the Franciscan order promised to pay for therapy and take care of the priest, who denied the allegations. They transferred Father Pinkowski, but refused to pay for therapy. The Pennsylvania Superior Court dismissed the case, ruling that it was too late because of statute of limitations. Father Pinkowski died in 1991.

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

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

Fr. Nilo Martins (Brazil) – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Nilo Martins

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Nilo Martins Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1978

Died: Unknown

Assigned as follows:

  • Incarnation of Our Lord (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (Tingua, Brazil)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Nilo Martins:

Father Nilo Martins was a Brazilian pediatrician and ordained a Jesuit priest in 1978. He came to the United States in May 1984 from the Catholic church in Brazil, and served in the Archdiocese of PhiladelphiaAccording to media reports, in 1985, he pleaded guilty to sexual assault for raping a 12-year-old altar boy at Incarnation of Our Lord Church while he served as the assistant pastor. 

According to court records, Father Martins invited the boy up to his rectory room one Saturday afternoon. He ordered the child to undress and then anally raped him. The victim testified that as he cried out in pain, the priest kept insisting, “Tell me that you like it.” When the priest was finished, he gave the boy a puzzle as a gift and told him to get dressed and leave. 

After Father Martins’ arrest, the church sent him to its psychiatric hospital, Villa St. Joseph’s in Downingtown. At his sentencing, transcripts show the church psychiatrist said he did “not pose a threat to society,” and did “not believe further incarceration would be at all helpful.”

“The church is supposed to be about love and compassion and support,” said the victim. “I was a 12-year-old kid and not once did they ever show any concern for me,” the victim said. “They did not make any attempt to reach out to my family. Not once did they make any effort to provide any type of counseling or anything.”

Father Martins served five weeks of a 23-46 month prison sentence and was deported to Brazil, where he resumed his duties as a priest, with access to children. 

“It actually scares me to know that despite his having been convicted of sexual assault, they would keep him a position where he might do harm to other children,” said the victim who grew up to become a police officer.

Brazilian church officials claimed they had no knowledge of his Philadelphia conviction. He has reportedly left the priesthood, and since 2002 when he was 65 years old, he was blind and hospitalized in Sao Paulo. His current whereabouts are unknown.

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

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

Fr. Charles Newman- Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Charles Newman (Franciscan) 

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Charles Newman (Franciscan)  Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1985

Removed: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • Archbishop Ryan High School (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Charles Newman:

Father Charles Newman, a Franciscan friar, was ordained a priest in 1985 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served at Archbishop Ryan High School, Philadelphia’s largest Roman Catholic high school, as a teacher, and was promoted to principal in 1993. He became president in 2002. In November 2003, he was fired for financial mismanagement.

According to media reports, in 2004, he was one of two clergy accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a 16-year-old male student between 1994 and 1996. He allegedly plied the boy with alcohol, cocaine and marijuana, and performed oral sex on him at St. Pius X Friary. He also gave the boy hush money totaling $53,000 in checks and cash, some of it funds from the high school. 

The Franciscan order removed Father Newman from active ministry and sent him for counseling and treatment for “sexual predatory conduct.” The Franciscans allegedly offered the boy $50,000 to sign a release. He filed a civil suit, but it was dismissed citing statute of limitations. 

In November 2006, Father Newman’s accuser committed suicide with a drug overdose. In December 2007, the priest was arrested on multiple counts of theft totaling $900,000 from the archdiocese and his religious order, and one count of forgery. In March 2009, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison, followed by 10 years’ probation.

In December 2013, Father Newman was paroled. As of January 2019, he is said to be living a life of prayer and penance.

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

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

John McDevitt – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father John “Jack” McDevitt

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

John “Jack” McDevitt Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1966

Died: 1999

Assigned as follows:

  • 1967-1968      Salesianum School (Wilmington, DE)
  • 1968-1980      Northeast Catholic High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1980-1982      Bishop McDevitt HS (Harrisburg, PA) 
  • 1982-1989      Salesianum School (Wilmington, DE)
  • 1989-1994      Father Judge High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1994-1999      DeSales Centre (Childs MD) 

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John “Jack” McDevitt:

Father John McDevitt, (aka “Uncle Jack”), was a member of the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales, and ordained a priest in 1966. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He once served on the Philadelphia City Council and was one of the founders and served as first president of the Summerdale Boys’ Club. He was also the founding president of the Northeast-Suburban Athletic Conference. He taught theology at several high schools in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He retired in 1994 and died in October 1999. 

According to media reports, in April 2009, Father McDevitt was named in a civil suit alleging he sexually abused a male student at Salesianum School in Wilmington during his junior year from 1985 through 1986. In June 2009, the nephew of Cardinal John J.O’Connor, the former head of the Archdiocese of New York, filed a lawsuit in Delaware alleging Father McDevitt sexually abused him as a 14-year-old student at Father Judge High School in Philadelphia from 1990 through 1991. The order had already removed him from the school. The suit stated that the priest knew he was related to the cardinal and used that information to intimidate the boy. He left the school after his freshman year, stating in the suit that he could no longer take the abuse.

According to the suit, “He threatened him with low grades in his religion class in order to entice him into private tutoring sessions, and during the private tutoring sessions, he proceeded to sexually abuse the plaintiff.”

According to abuse survivor accounts, Father McDevitt also molested children at Camp Brisson, a boys’ summer camp in Cecil County, Maryland, which was run by the Oblates.

In August 2011, as part of the Oblates $24.8 million settlement resolving 40 civil lawsuits brought under the Delaware Child Victims act against the religious order, Father McDevitt was one of twelve names released.

In August 2018, Father McDevitt’s name was included on the Diocese of Harrisburg’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors, as well as the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, which included the account of a male who stated that Father McDevitt tried to forcibly kiss him while in high school.

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

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

Fr. Arthur B. Chappell- Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Arthur Chappell (Augustinian) 

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Arthur Chappell Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: N/A

Assigned as follows:

  • Province of St. Thomas of Villanova (Villanova, PA)
  • Mount Augustine Apostolic Center (Staten Island, NY)
  • Biscayne College (Miami, FL)
  • Merrimack College (North Andover, MA)
  • Villanova University (Villanova, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Arthur Chappell:

Father Arthur Chappell was ordained an Augustinian priest and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. For eight years he served as Secretary and Treasurer of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova. He served for two years as Director of Mount Augustine Apostolic Center on Staten Island. Father Chappell taught theology at Biscayne College in Miami, FL where he was also Director of Student Activities. He also taught theology at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA and Villanova University where he served as Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies for ten years.

According to media reports, in May 2003, Father Chappell resigned from Villanova University amid allegations that he repeatedly sexually abused a teenage seminary student during his freshman year, when he lived in an on-campus house of seminarians from 1975 through 1976. The boy, who was studying to become a priest, reported abuse in 1977 to a Villanova psychologist who told the Order. Father Chappel was the boy’s spiritual advisor. 

“He used his priesthood and the sacraments of the church to manipulate me,” the man said. “It’s all about power, and his illness.”

A lawyer for the Augustinian order said Father Chappell acknowledged engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior with the boy but “disagrees significantly with the number and places and nature of events.” 

The order counseled Father Chappell at the time, but no written record of complaint was made and no further action was taken. Father Chappell has been serving as executive director of Augustinian Press since 2005.

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

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