Tag: Greensburg sexual abuse attorney

Fr. Andrew Kawecki – Diocese of Greensburg

Fr. Andrew Kawecki

Diocese of Greensburg


Fr. Andrew Kawecki Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1980

Removed: May 2019

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Andrew Kawecki:

In mid-May 2019, the Diocese of Greensburg announced that it suspended Fr. Andrew Kawecki following an allegation of sexual abuse that was reported to Pennsylvania’s ChildLine.  The Diocese released little information about the allegation except to say that the alleged abuse occurred in approximately 2004.

At the time of his removal, Kawecki was assigned to St. John the Baptist in Scottdale (Pastor) and St. Joseph in Everson (Administrator).  He previously served as Pastor of the Church of the Resurrection, which serves Ernest, Clymer, Glen Campbell, Heilwood and Rossiter in northern Indiana County.

Kawecki, who was born in Poland, will remain suspended until the conclusion of the law enforcement investigation.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Greensburg. 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 Greensburg may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

Diocese of Greensburg logo

Time is Running Out to File Your Claim Against the Diocese of Greensburg

The deadline for survivors of clergy sexual abuse to file their claims with the Diocese of Greensburg’s Survivor Compensation Program (SCP) is rapidly approaching.  All claims must be filed by Tuesday, May 28, 2019.

Anyone sexually abused as a child by a clergy member in the Diocese of Greensburg is eligible to receive compensation from the SCP regardless of how many years ago the abuse occurred.  This includes anyone hurt by religious order priests and visiting priests. This opens the fund to a broader group of claimants than similar funds in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The SCP is administered by a neutral third party, meaning that each claim is evaluated independently by a mediation firm, not by the Diocese of Greensburg itself, to determine the appropriate compensation for victims. The claims are generally resolved on a timeline that is much shorter than traditional litigation, and the process is completely confidential.  

The voluntary settlement fund is currently the only vehicle for most survivors of sexual abuse to take action against the Diocese of Greensburg for what happened to them as children.  Pennsylvania’s restrictive statute of limitations makes filing a lawsuit impossible in most cases.

Once the fund closes, most survivors of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Greensburg will have no other legal recourse, absent a major change in Pennsylvania’s statutes of limitations.  Due to the significant amount of time required to prepare the claims form, it is important to contact an attorney right away to begin the claims process.

The deadline for filing claims with the SCP is May 28, 2019, so if you are a survivor of clergy sexual abuse in the Diocese of Greensburg, please contact us now to discuss your options.  You can reach us at (954) 641-2100 or at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.  

Fr. Charles Weber, O.S.B. – Diocese of Greensburg

Father Charles Weber, O.S.B.

Diocese of Greensburg

Fr. Charles Weber OSB Horowitz Law  Fr. Charles Weber Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1945

Retired: 1994

Died: 2000

Assigned as follows:

  • 1939 Saint Vincent Archabbey
  • 1940 – 1945  Saint Vincent Preparatory School & Saint Vincent College
  • 1945 – 1994  Saint Mary Church in Erie & Saint Cecilia Church in Whitney

Summary of Allegations against Father Charles Weber, O.S.B.:

According to the Grand Jury Report, the only public allegation of sexual misconduct against Father Charles Weber was made in 2015. An anonymous victim approached the Diocese of Greensburg alleging that in the early 1980s, while Weber taught at St. Gertrude Church in Vandergrift, Weber instructed a room full of 11 to 13 year-olds on the distinct meaning of “impure thoughts and actions.” After the class ended, the victim was left alone with Weber and was asked by the Father if the victim understood the meaning of the lesson. According to the victim’s report to the Diocese, Weber chose this moment to fondle the child’s genitals as they talked.

Father Charles A. Weber, O.S.B. died in 2000 as a priest in good standing.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Greensburg.  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 Greensburg 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.

 

Fr. Mark Gruber, O.S.B. – Diocese of Greensburg

Father Mark Gruber

Diocese of Greensburg

Ordained: 1987

Laicized: 2013

Assigned as Follows:

  • Saint Vincent College Latrobe, PA

Summary of Allegations against Father Mark Gruber:

According to media reports, the allegations regarding Father Mark Gruber concerned the Vatican to the degree of ordering the former Benedictine monk to leave St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe and relieved him of his monastic vows for spreading rumors about Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, the leader of the Benedictine community in Unity. He then disobeyed orders to report to a treatment facility in Missouri, which resulted in his involuntary laicization.  According to the Archabbey, Gruber was said to have intimidated a junior monk into falsely alleging sexual misconduct against Nowicki in retaliation for the Order’s response to what it thought was child pornography downloaded onto Gruber’s computer. According to various news sources, the case unfolded as follows:

In 2009, Gruber, a tenured professor of Sociology and Anthropology at St. Vincent College, was suspended from teaching following a state police investigation into allegations that he possessed child pornography. Gruber was not charged with any crime; however, pornographic images, including inappropriate depictions of himself as well as photographs of young-looking men, was discovered on Gruber’s computer.  He had also visited Russian and Eastern European websites that were known to distribute child pornography, but there was no evidence that he downloaded any. Police ultimately determined that the men in the photos were likely over the age of 18, so no crime had been committed, at least as far as they could determine from the partially-wiped hard drive.

However, given the nature of the photographs, Church leaders determined that he had violated Canon Law and sought guidance from the Vatican.  He was ordered to cease ministry and report to a monastery. The Diocese of Greensburg revoked Gruber’s faculties to perform ministry functions.  

In response to the actions taken against him by the Diocese of Greensburg and the Benedictines, Gruber initiated a libel suit against the Bishop of Greensburg, the Archabbot and college officials. He quickly withdrew this lawsuit. The Archabbey released a statement claiming, “the evidence against Rev. Gruber was judged to be irrefutable.” In fact, during its internal proceedings, the Vatican said that Gruber was guilty of possessing child pornography.

According to Diocese records, “The Congregation [Vatican] found him guilty of the more grave delict of possession of child pornography, the crime of the production of materials which gravely injure good morals, the abuse of the Sacrament of Confession with the aggravating factor of the manipulation of conscience, and the defamation of a legitimate superior.” In retaliation for his removal from the college, Gruber allegedly conducted a smear campaign against Archabbot Nowicki by coercing a junior Monk to allege sexual misconduct against Nowicki – Gruber’s religious superior – in a signed affidavit.  The junior monk later recanted and said he was pressured by Gruber to sign it.

In 2012, an anonymous student came forward claiming he was the one who downloaded the pornography onto Gruber’s computer, not Gruber. He had allegedly claimed ownership of the act through confession with Gruber, a confession Gruber did not reveal in his own defense. The student claimed Gruber was a good Father who kept sacred the act of confession even in the face of losing his job and ruining his reputation. Father Gruber maintains that the young man’s sworn statement should have led to the reinstatement of his position last year.

On July 29, 2013, after refusing to abide by the first directive that he report to a treatment facility and cease all ministry, Gruber was involuntarily laicized.  The Archabbey provided financial assistance and healthcare benefits for a designated period to assist Gruber’s transition from the cloth.

There are no public allegations that Gruber engaged in sexual misconduct with minor children in the Diocese of Greensburg.

According to his Facebook page, Gruber is currently residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Many of his “friends” continue to refer to him as “Father Mark” even though he is no longer a priest.   

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Greensburg.  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 Greensburg 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.

 

Fr. Francis Lesniak – Diocese of Greensburg

Father Francis Lesniak

Diocese of Greensburg

Fr. Francis Lesniak Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1943

Retired: 1976

Died: 1991

Assigned as follows:

  • 1943-1946 St. Monica (Wampum, PA) and  St. Theresa (Hoytdale, PA)
  • 1946-1953 St. Mary (New Kensington, PA)
  • 1953-1953 St. Bernard (Indiana, PA)
  • 1953-1954 Transfiguration Church (Mount Pleasant, PA)
  • 1954-1956 St. Mary (New Kensington, PA)
  • 1956-1960 St. Michael (Glen Campbell, PA)/Ss. Peter & Paul (Arcadia, PA)
  • 1960-1965 St. Stanislaus (Calmut, PA)
  • 1965-1969 St. Anne (Fellsburg, PA) and Holy Cross (Webster, PA)
  • 1969-1976 Seven Dolors (Yukon, PA)
  • 1976-1987 St. Francis de Paul (Ford City, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Francis Lesniak:

According to the Grand Jury Report, the Diocese of Greensburg received the first complaint of abuse by Father Francis Lesniak in 2004. Allegations were made post-death. Lesniak was alleged to have sexually abused multiple minors in the 1960s and 70s.

Four victims accused Lesniak of molesting and/or raping them from 1962 through the late 1980s at parishes in Mt. Pleasant to Ford City. Incidents reportedly occurred during overnights for altar boys and at a picnic for a first Holy Communion. The abuse began with fondling and escalated to anal rape. Alcohol was also given to the victims on many occasions, with the fourth victim drinking ‘whole large containers full of wine.’

One victim stated that after confession, Lesniak would expose himself and tell the child it was his “strawberry lollipop.” This abuse occurred well over 100 times over the course of approximately four years.

Lesniak retired as a priest in good standing in 1987. He died in 1991.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Greensburg.  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 Greensburg 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.

 

Fr. Charles Guth – Diocese of Greensburg

Father Charles Guth

Diocese of Greensburg

Ordained: 1924

Retired: 1973

Died: 1986

Assigned as follows:

  • 7/1924 St. Peter, N.S.  (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • 4/1925: St. Andrews, N.S.  (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • 3/1926:  St. Joseph  (Braddock, PA)
  • 8/1928:  St. Bernard (Dormont, PA)
  • 1/1929: St. Ambrose (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • 1/1932: St. Wendelin (Carrick, PA)
  • 7/1932: Presentation  (Midland, PA)
  • 5/1935: St. Mary (McKees Rocks, PA)
  • 6/1935: St. James (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • 10/1942: St. Mary (Parkers Landing, PA) and Mission, St James (Petrolia, PA)
  • 8/1944: Holy Family (West Newton, PA)
  • 11/1962: St. Mary (Kittanning, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Charles Guth:

According to the grand jury report, Father Charles Guth is accused of sexually abusing an underage boy in the 1950s. The victim, as an adult, reported in 2005 that Guth molested him around age 7 when the priest was assigned to Holy Family in West Newton. The man says that he went to Guth concerned for his mother’s soul after a Sunday school teacher said people who miss Mass go to Hell. Guth molested the boy, gave him a nickel and told him that both he and his mother would go to Hell and burn if he told anyone what had happened.

Guth retired in 1973 as a priest in good standing.  

Guth died in 1986.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Greensburg.  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 Greensburg 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.

 

Fr. Leonard Sanesi – Diocese of Greensburg

Father Leonard Sanesi

Diocese of Greensburg

Fr. Leonard Sanesi Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1953

Died: 1992

Assigned as follows:

  • 1953 – 1955 St. Rita, Connellsville, PA
  • 1955 – 1958 St. Cajetan, Monesson, PA
  • 1958 – 1962 Immaculate Conception, Irwin, PA
  • 1962 – 1966 St. Joseph Minor Seminary, Greensburg, PA
  • 1966 – 1974 Holy Family, West Newton, PA
  • 1974 – 1983 Immaculate Conception, Irwin, PA
  • 1983 – 1990 Mount St. Peter, New Kensington, PA
  • 1990 – 1992 All Saints, Arnold, PA

Summary of Allegations against Father Leonard Sanesi:

According to the grand jury report, Father Leonard Sanesi’s first allegation of sexual abuse came to the Diocese of Greensburg in 2002. A man claimed that during the early 1960s, while Sanesi served at St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary, a school for boys with a potential future in the cloth, Sanesi sexually abused him. The victim in question had a skin condition that required the frequent application of creams and ointments, and Sanesi exploited that by “helping” the boy apply them on his hard-to-reach areas.  He says that Sanesi escalated the contact into seuxal abuse.

A second victim came forward in 2013, alleging that Sanesi sexually abused him also while he attended St. Joseph Seminary in 1962. According to the victim, Sanesi occasionally entered the victim’s dormitory in an attempt to fondle the victim’s genitals. He also reported an instance where he became ill and Sanesi cared for him. Sanesi took advantage of the illness and brought the victim to his private living space. Sanesi provided the victim with alcohol and attempted to fondle him yet again.

Sanesi died in 1992 in active ministry.  

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Greensburg.  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 Greensburg 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.

 

Fr. Henry Marcinek – Diocese of Greensburg

Father Henry J. Marcinek

Diocese of Greensburg

Ordained: 1956

Retired: 1985

Died: 1987

Assigned as follows:

  • 1956 – 1957 Holy Name, Monessen, PA
  • 1957 – 1958 SS Cyril & Methodius, Fairchance, PA
  • 1958 – 1960 Holy Trinity, Ford City, PA
  • 1960 – 1965 Holy Rosary Church, Republic, PA
  • 1965 – 1967 St. Mary Church, Uniontown, PA
  • 1967 – 1970 St. Elizabeth Church, Starford, PA & Sacred Heart, Dixonville, PA
  • 1970 – 1973 Holy Rosary Church, Republic, PA
  • 1973 – 1982 Holy Cross, Youngwood and St. Gilbert Church, Hunker, PA
  • 1982 – 1985 St. Pius X, Mt. Pleasant, PA

Summary of Allegations against Father Henry J. Marcinek:

According to the grand jury report, in 2007, a 45-year-old man reported that Father Henry Marcinek sexually assaulted him for over a decade, starting in approximately 1972.   He said the abuse began at the age of 10 during the victim’s time at Holy Rosary grammar school, and that it continued for more than 8 years. He was one of Marcinek’s altar boys, and was often asked to “help” around the rectory so that Marinek could have time alone with him.  Soon, he was accompanying Marcinek to his cabin or on other trips when the boy was forced to share a bed with the priest.

In response to the allegation, the Diocese of Greensburg paid the man $10,000.00 and gave him 90 counseling sessions.

Marcinek died in 1987 as a retired priest in good standing.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Greensburg.  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 Greensburg 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.

 

Fr. Robert Moslener – Diocese of Greensburg

Father Robert Moslener

Diocese of Greensburg

Fr. Robert Moslener Horowitz Law  Robert Moslener Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1976

Inpatient evaluation/treatment: 1979, 1987, 2002

Suspended/Permanently removed: 2002

Laicized (removed from priesthood): 2005

Assigned as follows:

  • St. John the Baptist (Scottdale, PA) 1976 – 1978
  • St. Agnes (North Huntingdon, PA) 1978 – 1979
  • St. Joseph (New Kensington, PA) 1979 – 1985
  • St. Pius X (Mt. Pleasant, PA)  1985 – 1986
  • Saints Simon and Jude (Blairsville, PA)  1986 – 1987
  • St. Luke institute (inpatient treatment) 1987
  • Holy Cross (Iselin, PA)  1987 – 1988
  • Assumption Hall, Sisters of Charity Retirement Home (Greensburg, PA) 1988 – 1992
  • St. Patrick (Brady’s Bend, PA)  1992 – 1996
  • St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart (Yatesboro, PA)  1996 – 2002
  • The Anodos Center (inpatient treatment) 2002

Summary of Allegations against Father Robert Moslener:

According to the 2018 grand jury report: “[The Bishops of Greensburg] permitted Moslener to continue in ministry for 22 years after the initial complaint of child sexual abuse against him and the numerous reports of child sexual assault which followed.  During that time, Moslener continued to prey on innocent children within the Diocese of Greensburg.”

In 1979 and 1980, not long after his ordination, Father Robert Moslener was the subject of allegations that he sexually abused a 15 year old boy.  The Diocese of Greensburg responded by sending him for a psychiatric evaluation, and then assigned him to St. Joseph in New Kensington. According to internal diocesan documents, the diocese saw Moslener’s abuse as a single incident and that the victim in question as an “acceptable yet understandable waystation” on the Moslener’s journey toward “more adult sexual integration.”  The boy was just a healthy experiment, according to Diocesan officials. 

In April 1986, the North Huntingdon Township Police Department advised the Diocese of Greensburg that Moslener had been investigated for committing sexual acts against underaged males (plural) and that there was evidence to substantiate the charges. However, Moslener was never prosecuted.  Instead, he remained in ministry for nearly two more decades.

Also in 1986, several “elementary to middle school aged children” gave statements to the Diocese of Greensburg that Moslener, their religion teacher, was asking them uncomfortable questions about their masturbation habits and even described the Virgin Mary licking Baby Jesus clean after his birth.  One letter discussed the graphic discussion Moselener had with a child about the physical effects of masturbation.

In response, the Bishop ordered Moslener put “on ice” while the hysteria died down.  Moslener was also sent for a psychological evaluation given the increased threat of scandal to the Church.  Over his objection, Moslener was ordered to St. Luke Institute, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests, in Suitland, Maryland.  

Upon his discharge, Moslener was reassigned to active ministry as a parish priest several more times.

In 1999, still another victim contacted the Diocese to report his sexual abuse by Moslener.  No details about the allegation were contained in the grand jury report, but that may be because there are no notes or documents contained in Moslener’s file until his suspension from ministry several years later.

Despite the 1999 allegation (and those that came before it), Moslener remained in active ministry until 2002. Two months after the scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston became regular national news, Bishop Bosco placed him on administrative leave (suspension).  

In 2003, a fifth victim came forward to report that he was sexually abused as a child.

In 2013, a sixth victim reported that he and his siblings were sexually abused by Moslener at St. Joseph.  

Moslener was laicized (removed from the priesthood) by the Vatican in 2005, along with several other accused priests.

Moslener is now 74 years old.  He is believed to be residing in the Pittsburgh area.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Greensburg.  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 Greensburg 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.

 

Fr. George Pierce – Diocese of Greensburg

Father George R. Pierce

Diocese of Greensburg

Ordination: 1959

Leave of Absence: 1997

Retired (in good standing): 1998

Laicized: 2005

Died: 2009

Assigned as follows:

  • 1959 – 1960 St. Mary, Freeport, PA
  • 1960 – 1963 All Saints, Masontown, PA
  • 1963 – 1966 Immaculate Conception, Connessville, PA
  • 1966 – 1967 St. Mary and Holy Trinity, Ford City, PA
  • 1967 – 1968 Immaculate Conception, Irwin, PA
  • 1968 – 1972 St. Gertrude, McIntyre and its mission St. Anthony, Aultman, PA
  • 1972 – 1985 Holy Family, Seward and its mission: St. Mary, Bolivar and St. Mary, Florence, PA
  • 1985 – 1995 Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Leckrone, PA
  • 1995 – 1997 St. James, Maxwell, PA

Summary of Allegations against Father George R. Pierce:

The Diocese of Greensburg received the first allegation of sexual abuse against Father George R. Pierce in 1997. The victim stated that the abuse began in 1968 when she was 12, and that it continued until she was approximately 20. A typical evening for the two included dinner, alcohol and sexual intercourse, which led her to believe that Pierce was her boyfriend, not an abuser. This abuse lasted even after Pierce transferred to Holy Family in 1972, stirring concern among parishioners of the victim’s overnight stays at the rectory. Yet nothing was done despite the blatant red flags.

She also reported that Pierce was sexually abusing at least one other underage girl at Holy Family.  She knew this because when she would go there to see him, he woudl have at least one other female around, and it made her jealous.  When she was about 15 or 16 years old, the other female (whose age is not clear from the grand jury report) was in the car when Pierce picked up the victim for a visit.  As they drove the other female home, she was forced to perform oral sex on the priest while the other female watched (or vice versa – there is a conflict in Diocese documents about what the woman reported in her statement).  

When questioned later, Pierce admitted to some level of sexual contact with the victim, but not to the sexual intercourse.  He was ordered to undergo an inpatient evaluation at Andos Center, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests. He was there from November 1997 to May 1998, at which time it was suggested he seek assignment in the Diocese of Erie.  It does not appear that he was accepted into the Erie Diocese, and instead opted to retire in 1998.

In 2002, a man contacted the Diocese of Greensburg and reported that he was sexually abused by Pierce at St. Anthony and St. Gertrude from 1969-1972.   According to the victim, he was 10 years old when he confided in Pierce that right before his 7th birthday the victim’s brother and his friends gang raped him. In response, Pierce explained to the victim that in order for him to be saved and go to heaven, he must perform oral and anal sex with Pierce. The young boy believed him and did as his priest said from 1969 to 1972.  It ended when Pierce was transferred to Holy Family.

Pierce was laicized in 2005, along with several other accused priests in the Diocese of Greensburg.  By that time, he had relocated to Linesville, Pennsylvania.

Pierce died in 2009.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Greensburg.  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 Greensburg 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.