Father David Dzermejko
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Assigned as Follows:
- 1974 -1979: Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament (Natrona Heights, PA)
- 1979-1984: St. Teresa of Avila (Pittsburgh, PA)
- 1984-1991: St. Susanna (Penn Hills, PA)
- 1991-1992: St. Jerome (Charleroi, PA)
- 1992-2009: Mary, Mother of the Church (Charleroi, PA)
- 2009: Leave of Absence
- 2009-2013: In Residence, St. John Vianney Manor (Pittsburgh, PA)
- 2015: Laicized
Summary of Allegations Against Father David Dzermejko:
Father David Dzermejko was ordained a priest in 1974, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, records subpoenaed from the Diocese of Pittsburgh by the grand jury concerning Father David Dzermejko reveal that he had sexually abused multiple young boys. The first of these victims was reported to the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 2009 when the victim’s wife called the Diocese of Pittsburgh on his behalf. She said that her husband, who had committed suicide a few months before her call, had told her that Dzermejko inappropriately touched him as a boy. She described two instances of Father Dzermejko fondling the victim: one in the priest’s car and one on a ferris wheel at a carnival.
Later in 2009, a second victim contacted the Diocese of Pittsburgh to report that Father David Dzermejko had sexually abused him from 1979 to 1972. This was when he was in fifth, sixth, and seventh grades at St. Teresa of Avila, where he was also an altar boy at the church. This victim said that his family was close to Dzermejko and referred to him as “Father Dave.” He said that he was anally raped by Dzermejko in addition to being given oral sex and forced to perform oral sex. Some of this inappropriate contact took place within the victim’s own home.
Another adult male reported abuse by Father Dzermejko to the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 2012. When he was first introduced to Djermejko, the victim did not know he was a priest and Dzermejko said he was a “hospital administrator.” He told the Diocese that Dzermejko had performed oral sex on him in the late 1980s when he was 15 or 16 years old. He would take him to bars in both Pittsburgh in West Virginia and he touched the boy inappropriately at many different locations, including Dzermejko’s boat, outside of a restaurant, in the rectory in a church in Charleroi, and more.
Father Dzermejko was placed on administrative leave in mid-2009. He was ordered to become a resident of St. John Vianney Manor, the Diocese’s home for retired priests. In 2013, law enforcement raided his residence in St. John Vianney and found child pornography, illegal drugs, and firearms. He was arrested for possession of child pornography. He admitted to everything from having child porn for the last 10 years to traveling to Thailand to engage in sexual contact with teenage boys. He pled guilty and began a 3-year sentence in 2014. The Diocese of Pittsburgh continued to provide him with financial support during his incarceration.
He was officially dismissed from the priesthood (laicized) by the Vatican in 2015.
In 1982, Dzermejko made local headlines after he says he was kidnapped at gunpoint, thrown into the trunk of his car, and dumped by the side of a road five hours later. Several days later, the FBI closed the investigation after investigators determined that Dzermejko lied about being abducted; he had picked up the “kidnappers” while driving through Ohio. No one would say why he said he was in Ohio, or why he made the story up. The Special Agent in charge of the investigation said only, “why he liked, or why he changed his story after the abduction, I’m going to have to stay in a ‘no comment’ field.” At the time of the incident, Dzermejko was chaplain to the local Fraternal Order of Police.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options today.