Tag: Harrisburg

Mr. Kevin Glazik – Diocese of Harrisburg

Mr. Kevin Glazik

Diocese of Harrisburg

Kevin Glazik Horowitz Law

Assignment History:

  • 2013: Our Lady of Hope Church (Coal Township, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Kevin Glazik:

Kevin C. Glazik, 42, was arrested in 2014 for sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl in 2013 while Glazik was a Volunteer, Our Lady of Hope Church. Reports were made to the Diocese of Harrisburg, and the local police about the incident.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, a forensic examination of Glazik’s computer was confiscated from his home during the investigation. Law enforcement found 26 images of child pornography and a video containing child pornography in early August 2013.

Glazik was sentenced to 3 to 23 months in the county prison on the felony offense of unlawful contact with a minor and two years consecutive probation on a misdemeanor of indecent assault. Glazik, who is deemed a sexual predator, was ordered to undergo DNA testing, pay $200 in fines and costs, and refrain from any contact with the victim and other minors.

Glazik ended up serving a total of two months in prison, according to the prison clerk, until his bail was lowered from $75,000 cash to unsecured. He is believed to be still residing in Coal Township, PA.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.  The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

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

Fr. Joseph Driscoll – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Joseph Driscoll, C.Ss.R.

Diocese of HarrisburgFr. Joseph Driscoll Horowitz Law

Known Assignments in Diocese of Harrisburg:

  • Lancaster Catholic High School
  • St. James (Lititz, Pennsylvania)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Fr. Joseph Driscoll:

Father Joseph Driscoll, a Redemptorist priest, was first publicly identified as an accused priest on the Diocese of Harrisburg’s August 2018 list of accused priests.  The Diocese of Harrisburg did not provide any information about the nature of the misconduct alleged, nor Driscoll’s assignment at the time of the alleged abuse.  All it told the public is that Driscoll was first accused of abuse after his death.

The Diocese of Harrisburg did not provide any information about when Driscoll died.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.  The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

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

 

Fr. Salvatore Zangari – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Salvatore Zangari – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Salvatore Zangari

Ordained: 1944

Retired: 1986

Died: 2004

Assigned as follows:
  • 1944-1946        St. Patrick (York, PA)
  • 1946-1951        St. Peter (Mount Carmel, PA)
  • 1951-1957        U.S. Army Chaplain/Industrial School (Camp Hill, PA)
  • 1957-1959        Assumption BVM (Lebanon, PA)
  • 1959-1964        Our Lady of Visitation (Shippensburg, PA)
  • 1964-1969        St. Thomas More (Northumberland, PA)
  • 1969-1973        St. Ann (Steelton, PA)
  • 1973-1975        Immaculate Conception BVM (Fairfield, PA)
  • 1975-1986        St. Peter (Elizabethtown, PA)
Summary of Allegations against Fr. Salvatore Zangari:

According to the grand jury report, the Diocese of Harrisburg received multiple reports of unwanted sexual contact between Zangari and adult women between 1980-1986.  The Diocese of Harrisburg finally took some type of action and sent Zangari for a psychological evaluation at the St. Luke Institute, a notorious treatment facility for sexually deviant priests in Maryland.  During his evaluation, Zangari told his psychologist that he was married and had fathered a child.

Zangari was allowed to retire voluntarily in 1986.

In 2002, Diocese of Harrisburg officials met with Zangari to discuss the 1986 allegations and SLI reports “because it appeared they had never been followed up on.”  Zangari denied saying he was married (or ever being married) but admitted that he had fathered a child with a former student at St. Mary/Assumption BVM, but said it was after she turned 18.

The entire SLI report and summary of the 2002 interview with Zangari were provided to Bishop Nicholas Dattilo. In response to the contents of the documents, which have not been made public, Dattilo issued a penal precept against Zangari, finding that, based entirely upon Zangari’s own statements in 1986 and 2002, there existed “full proof of [Zangari’s] sexual abuse of minors,” even though Zangari said the mother of his child was over 18.  This suggests, of course, that he made other admissions that he sexually abused minors during his SLI evaluation.

In December 2002, 16 years after he retired as a priest in good standing, the Diocese of Harrisburg suspended Zangari’s faculties to minister.

Zangari died approximately two years later in September 2004 at his home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  There is no evidence that he was removed from priesthood (laicized) before his death.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.  The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

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

Fr. Frederick Vaughn – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Frederick Vaughn – Diocese of Harrisburg

(a/k/a Frederick Joseph Von Hartensten)

Fr. Frederick Vaughn Harrisburg

Ordained: 1937

Retired: 1986

Died:    1992

Assigned as follows:
  • St. Peter (Elizabethtown, PA)
  • St. Luke the Evangelist Mission (Greencastle, PA)
  • St. Catherine Laboure (Harrisburg, PA)
  • St. Joseph (York, PA)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Fr. Frederick Vaughn:

In 2002, the Diocese of Harrisburg received a letter from a parishioner who alleged that Frederick Vaughn molested both of her daughters while he was assigned St. Catherine Laboure and may have continued into his assignment at St. Joseph in York. According to the mother, her daughters were around 9 or 10 when their respective abuse began and involved fondling their genitals.

A second mother contacted the Diocese of Harrisburg later that same year to report that their daughters were molested by Vaughn as well.  Her first daughter was molested from ages 3-16 by Vaughn (1961-1974). That abuse would have begun at St. Catherine and continued into his assignment at St. Joseph as well. This time, the mother alleged that Vaughn not only fondled her daughter but also had vaginal and anal intercourse with her.  The second daughter was abused from ages 5 to 10 (1958-1963), but this time the abuse was seemingly limited to fondling.

In 2004, a woman contacted the Diocese of Harrisburg to report that she was abused by Vaughn around age 11 or 12 (1958) while attending the parish school at St. Catherine Laboure.  She said that Vaughn pinned her against a wall so she could not move and fondled her genitals from behind as he rubbed against her.

Later that same year, a third parent reported that her daughter was also abused at St. Catherine Laboure.  Vaughn was a regular guest in the family home and, on one occasion, she walked into a room and saw Vaughn’s hands on her daughter’s breasts (over her clothing).  Vaughn said nothing; he calmly got up and left the home. The mother never told anyone what she saw and Vaughn continued to visit the family home.

In 2012, St. Catherine Laboure was contacted by a woman who said she was molested by Vaughn for several years.  Sometimes, the abuse occurred at nearby Mermaid Lake; Vaughn would fondle her under the water so no one could see.

Strangely, neither the grand jury report nor the Diocese of Harrisburg’s release of priest assignments contains any information about Vaughn’s assignments before 1958.  The first 20 years of his priesthood has simply vanished for reasons that are not clear.

Vaughn died in 1992. He remained a priest in good standing until his death, albeit a retired one.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.  The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

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

Msgr. Francis J. Taylor – Diocese of Harrisburg

Msgr. Francis Taylor – Diocese of Harrisburg

Msgr. Francis Taylor Harrisburg

Ordained:    1954

Retired:    1996

Died:        1997

Assigned as follows:
  • St. Peter (Elizabethtown, PA)
  • Cathedral of St. Patrick (Harrisburg, PA)
  • Sacred Heart of Jesus (Lancaster, PA)
  • Sacred Heart Mission (Lykens, PA)
  • Mary, Mother of the Church (Mount Joy, PA)
  • St. Theresa (New Cumberland, PA)
  • St. Leo the Great (Rohrerstown, PA)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Msgr. Francis Taylor:

Msgr. Francis Taylor was not identified or discussed in the 2018 grand jury report.  His name was included on the list of accused priests published by the Diocese of Harrisburg in August 2018, however.

Unfortunately, very little information about the allegation(s) against Taylor was provided.  All the Diocese of Harrisburg has disclosed is that the first allegation against Taylor was made following his death.  Additional details, such as the age/gender of the victim(s) and Taylor’s assignment(s) at the time of the allegation were not provided.

Taylor died in 1997. He remained a priest in good standing at the time of his death.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.  The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

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

Fr. John Suknaic – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. John J. Suknaic – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. John Suknaic Harrisburg

Ordained: 1950

Died: 2004

Assigned as follows:
  • St. Columba (Bloomsburg, PA)
  • St. Peter (Columbia, PA)
  • Maria Joseph Manor (Danville, PA)
  • Our Lady of Lourdes (Enola, PA)
  • St. Joseph (Lancaster, PA)
  • Divine Redeemer (Mount Carmel, PA)
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Mount Carmel, PA)
Summary of Allegations Against Fr. John Suknaic:

Fr. John Sukanic was not identified or discussed in the 2018 grand jury report.  His name was included on the list of accused priests published by the Diocese of Harrisburg in August 2018, however.

Unfortunately, very little information about the allegation(s) against Suknaic was provided.  All the Diocese of Harrisburg has disclosed is that the first allegation against Suknaic was made following his death.  Additional details, such as the age/gender of the victim(s) and Sukanic’s assignment(s) at the time of the allegation were not provided.

Suknaic died in 2004.  He remained a priest in good standing at the time of his death, albeit retired.  He also resided in a nursing home operated by the Diocese of Harrisburg at the time of his death.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.  The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

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

Fr. Carl Steffen – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Carl Steffen – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Carl Steffen    Fr. Carl Steffen

 

Ordained: 1958

Retired: 2005

Died: 2015

Assigned as follows:
  • 1958-1959        Assumption BVM (Lancaster, PA)
  • 1960            Asst. Director for Youth for Boy Scouts
  • 1959-1961        St. Gertrude (Lebanon, PA)
  • 1961-1963        St. Joan of Arc (Hershey, PA)
  • 1963-1967        Bishop McDevitt High School (Harrisburg, PA)
  • 1963-1969        St. Joseph (Shamokin, PA)
  • 1969-1976        St. Francis Xavier (Gettysburg, PA)
  • 1978-2005        St. Ignatius Loyola (Buchanan Valley, PA)
Summary of Allegations against Fr. Carl Steffen:

According to documents reviewed by the grand jury, the Diocese of Harrisburg received the first allegation of sexual abuse against Fr. Carl Steffen in 1966 while he was assigned to Bishop McDevitt High School. According to internal memos, the Bishop of Harrisburg was told that several complaints had been received from “reputable parents” regarding “questionable procedure during interviews of high school boys… he was alleged to fondle, caress, and touch them.”  The priest assigned by the Bishop to investigate the allegations reported that he interviewed Carl Steffen, who “was in a cold sweat by the end of the interview.” Steffen explained away the allegations by saying that he sometimes sat on a couch with students and gave them a “gesture of friendliness” that they must be misunderstanding. Steffen remained at Bishop McDevitt High School unrestricted.

Documents also indicate that Carl Steffen had been warned to stop hearing children’s confessions face-to-face before 1966.

In the years that followed, the Diocese of Harrisburg received regular and repeated complaints that Steffen was having highly inappropriate and graphic discussions about sex with students (both male and female) at the school.  Boys on the football team also complained that he would come to practices and touch them in the same ways reported in 1966 (“fondles, caresses,” etc.).

Steffen was not removed from his position at Bishop McDevitt until 1969, three years after the allegations of improper touching were apparently first documented by the Diocese of Harrisburg.

In 1993, Steffen was accused of graphic sexual discussions with another high school aged boy; Steffen asked the boy about the size of his penis and his masturbation habits.  In 1997, a deacon at St. Ignatius reported to the Diocese that a family left the parish because Steffen asked their three sons about their sexual habits.

In 2002, the 1993 victim approached the Diocese of Harrisburg to reaffirm his complaint.  The man was sent to a psychologist for an examination. He told the Diocese’s psychologist that the misconduct with Steffen went well beyond inappropriate sexual discussions.  When he was 10, in 1968, he had his appendix removed. At some point, he found himself alone in his hospital room with Steffen, who rubbed the child’s penis (over the blankets) as he talked to the ailing boy about masturbation and climaxing.  He Diocesan psychologist opined that it was possible all Steffen was doing by speaking graphically and fondling the boy to an erection was taking a “parental role” in explaining the boy’s “evolving sexuality.” In any event, she opined that it could be “expedient for the priest in question to take early retirement.”

Steffen remained in ministry at the direction of Harrisburg Bishop Nicholas Dattilo.  He issued a decree in September 2002 closing the investigation against Steffen and saying, “insufficient evidence exists to suggest that an offense has been committed which is deserving of a penalty.  Father Steffen’s offense seems to have been a violation of prudence rather than an overt offense of sexual misconduct or abuse.” Notably, this was less than six months after Dattilo and the other bishops across the United States pledged a “zero tolerance” policy for allegations of sexual abuse in Dallas, Texas.

Steffen retired in 2005 as a priest in good standing.  He kept his faculties to minister, including his permission to hear confessions.  In 2009, the faculty regarding confessions was revoked by Bishop Kevin Rhoades after he concluded Steffen demonstrated a “consistent pattern of inappropriate sexual questioning within the sacrament of penance.”

Additionally, there is a two year gap in his assignment history (1976-1978) that is not explained by the Diocese of Harrisburg or by the grand jury. This is certainly a red flag that would merit additional investigation in litigation.

Steffen died in 2015. With the exception of the ability to hear confessions, he remained a priest in good standing of the Diocese of Harrisburg until his death. His death was announced via the Diocese of Harrisburg’s website.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.  The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

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

 

Fr. Timothy Sperber – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Timothy Sperber – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Timothy Sperber

Ordained: 1978

On Duty Outside Diocese (Archdiocese of Miami): 1992-2000

Suspended from ministry: 2000

Assigned IN THE DIOCESE OF HARRISBURG as follows:
  • St. Joan of Arc (Hersey, PA)
  • St. John Neumann (Lancaster, PA)
  • St. Philip the Apostle (Millersville, PA)
Summary of Allegations against Fr. Timothy Sperber:

According to the grand jury report, the Diocese of Harrisburg received an allegation in 2004 that a priest named “Fr. Tim” sexually abused her in 1979 when she was 9 or 10 years old.  She attended St. Joan of Arc school in Hershey and struggled with math. The school principal asked Fr. Tim Sperber, who was a young priest in the parish, to tutor her.

According to the victim, she was called to the rectory during the school day.  The priest was very touchy-feely with her, and eventually he told her to remove her shirt.  He fondled her small breasts and nipples before telling her to turn around. He then rubbed something against her back that she now believes was his finger or erect penis. This lasted until she heard him make a strange noise and then her back was wet.  She realized as an adult that he ejaculated on her back; all she knew at the time is that her back was sticky the rest of the day.

The following year, when she needed a tutor again, she begged the principal not to make her see Fr. Tim again, and told him what happened.  The principal got very angry and told her that she was a liar and “a demon child.” She was expelled from St.Joan of Arc.

In 1992, Sperber took an assignment in the Archdiocese of Miami to reportedly tend to an ailing mother.  In the Archdiocese of Miami, Sperber served at St. Gregory Church in Plantation and St. Boniface Church in Pembroke Pines before taking a leave of absence in 1998. When he was set to return to Harrisburg for assignment in 2000, he wrote to the Bishop and informed him that he had no intention of returning to his ministry.  He was suspended for failure to report to his assignment. His current status with the Diocese of Harrisburg is unclear as the Diocese has never stated that he was laicized.

Sperber’s name appears on the Diocese of Harrisburg’s August 2018 list of accused priests. Unfortunately, very little information about the allegation(s) against Sperber was provided, though it did give a lengthy disclaimer about the allegation that the victim, a female, accused a “Father Tim” of molesting him and Sperber was the only “Tim” assigned to the parish at the time of the alleged abuse.

Sperber is alive and believed to be residing in the Port Charlotte, Florida.  As of 2018, he was working as a music minister at a local Church of Christ in Punta Gorda.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.  The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

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

 

 

Fr. Herbert Shank – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Herbert Shank – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Herbert Shank

Ordained:    1967

Inpatient treatment: 1994

Resigned:    1994

Assigned as follows:
  • 1967-1971        Sacred Heart (Lewistown, PA)
  • 1969            Boy Scout Chaplain
  • 1971-1974        St. Joan of Arc (Hershey, PA)
  • 1974-1975        Sacred Heart (Lancaster, PA)
  • 1975-1981        Holy Spirit Hospital (Camp Hill, PA)
  • 1981-1984        St. Patrick (Carlisle, PA)
  • 1984            Immaculate Conception BVM (Fairfield, PA)
  • 1984-1994        St. Rose of Lima (York, PA)
Summary of Allegations against Fr. Herbert Shank:

According to the grand jury report, in 1994, the Diocese of Harrisburg received a report that he had been sexually abused by Herbert Shank.  The boy also reported that Shank molested his brother and five other altar boys.  The report is not clear when the alleged abuse was supposed to have taken place, or what Shank’s assignment was at that time of the abuse, though it appears from other facts provided by the grand jury that the allegation was of very recent abuse at St. Rose of Lima in York.

  • The 1994 investigation at St. Rose of Lima

According to the boy, Shank took him on trips and he also spent the night at the rectory.  Shank showed him photographs of teenage boys in various states of undress, some of whom he recognized as altar boys.

Shank requested, and was granted, a leave of absence while the allegations were investigated.

During the course of the investigation, a parish maintenance man reported to the Diocese of Harrisburg that he was aware of “a relationship between Shank and a minor,” and also that the priest had a large number of photographs of semi-nude boys.  The Diocese of Harrisburg placed a great value on the fact that the man was not Catholic when evaluating his credibility. A second maintenance man who corroborated the facts given was discounted because he was apparently a recovering alcoholic.

A parish priest also confirmed that he found “hundreds of pictures of young boys” in Shank’s room at the rectory, as well as negatives of naked young boys and their genitalia.

In November 1994, another victim contacted the Diocese of Harrisburg to report that he was very concerned about what would happen to Shank’s photographs because he was in them.  He also reported that Shank had called him the day to discuss the situation.

Upon all of this information, the Diocese of Harrisburg removed all of the photographs and videotapes in Shank’s rectory room. They had no contact with law enforcement before doing so nor for a very long time after.

In early December 1994, a third boy (who was by then a man) contacted the Diocese to report his abuse by Shank between 1971 and 1974.  He was a sixth grade altar boy when the abuse began. It included fondling and oral sex, as well as photographing the boy while he was naked. Later that month, the Diocese of Harrisburg informed Shank that they would be reporting the matter to the District Attorney, which Shank apparently indicated he understood.  Yet no report was made at this time.

Instead, the Diocese of Harrisburg waited another two months until February 1995 to contact law enforcement.  It turned over “photographic negatives and videotape cassettes,” according to the grand jury, but it is not clear if it turned over everything it seized from Shank’s rectory room and secretly kept for more than three months.

  • Later allegations against Shank

In 2016, the Office of the Attorney General received a call from another victim of Shank.  He reported that he was 10 years old and an altar boy at Shank’s parish (the name of which was not disclosed in the grand jury report).  Shank often photographed him in his underwear and naked. Shank also rubbed his own penis all over the boy’s body during overnights at the rectory.  Shockingly, the victim reported that Shank came to his home a few years later, in what seems to be the 1994 time frame, to ask the victim, “why didn’t you stop me?” as if the child was to blame for failing to control the priest’s deviant conduct.

In 2017, agents from the Office of the Attorney General interviewed members of the York Police Department who were on the job in 1995.  One officer, who did not work the case but was familiar with it, confirmed that the videotape cassettes showed Shank “assaulting young boys.” He hid the footage by splicing it between recorded television shows.  At the time, the victim would not cooperate with the prosecutor and the Diocese of Harrisburg assured police that Shank would be reassigned outside of York, so the matter was closed.

According to Diocese documents, Shank was at the Institute of Living, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests in Connecticut from late 1994 until at least mid-1997.

  • Shank’s 2018 interview with a local Fox affiliate

Since the release of the August 2018 grand jury report, several more men have come forward to media outlets to disclose their abuse by Shank throughout the course of his tenure as a priest.  Each tells a story with details similar to those whose allegations are outlined in the Diocese of Harrisburg’s files.

In late July 2018,  Shank gave an interview to the local Fox affiliate, denying that any of things that he did to boys (to which he admitted) were “sexual abuse” because the victims were important to him and seemed to welcome the contact.  He told the reporter, “I’m deeply sorry for everything that happened. That, I think, is all I should say until I’ve talked to my lawyer and anyone else that was involved. Honestly, that’s all that they say. But in my situation, I didn’t fight it. I acknowledge that there were some situations and resigned and went to the Institute of Living in Connecticut and was in there for two years and four months. I couldn’t stay there in therapy but I wish I had. I think I would’ve been able to forgive myself better, maybe approach and say something to the people.”

When asked how many boys he may have molested, Shank to the reporter, “it certainly wasn’t more than very few but like I said I don’t want to go into that right now. I don’t know! I really don’t. I put the best faith on it possible and didn’t think of it being sexually molestation. Like you mentioned, it was massaging…Okay, fine that’s acceptable…”  He continued, “[T]hese were people that were important to me in my own maybe messed up way. But they were not people that, I consider, were taken advantage of.”

Shank is still alive and believed to be residing in the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, area.  While it does not appear that Shank ever returned to active ministry after his time in the Institute of Living, his current status with the Diocese of Harrisburg is unclear. They have not confirmed publicly that he was laicized (removed from the priesthood), which means he may still be receiving a pension and benefits from the Diocese of Harrisburg.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.  The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

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

Fr. Thomas Scala – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Thomas Scala – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Thomas ScalaFr. Thomas Scala

Ordained:    1973

Died:    October 2018

Assigned as follows:
  • Immaculate Conception BVM (Berwick, PA)  1987-1989
  • St. Columba (Bloomsburg, PA) 1986-1987, 1989-1994
  • Christ the King Mission (Bloomsburg University) 1986-1987
  • Good Shepherd (Camp Hill, PA) 1973-1974
  • St. Joseph Hospital (Lancaster, PA)  1977-1986
  • St. Joseph (Milton, PA) 1994-2011
  • St. Joseph (York, PA) 1974-1977
Summary of Allegations against Fr. Thomas Scala:

Thomas Scala was not identified or discussed in the 2018 grand jury report.  His name was included on the list of accused priests published by the Diocese of Harrisburg in August 2018, however. Unfortunately, very little information about the allegations against Scala was provided.  All the Diocese of Harrisburg has disclosed is that Scala has been the subject of three allegations of sexual abuse.  Additional details, such as the age/gender of the victims and Scala’s assignment(s) at the time of the allegation were not provided.

That is not to say that Scala’s assignment history is without red flags.  In our experience, accused priests are often transferred to assignments as chaplains in hospitals and prisons, the thought being that they are not as likely to encounter children.  Scala held both assignments.  Of course, the assignments are not themselves conclusive that the Diocese of Harrisburg had knowledge that he was a pedophile, but they are suggestive enough to merit additional investigation in litigation.

Scala recently died in October 2018.  He had been residing in the Clearwater, Florida, area.  His status with the Diocese of Harrisburg is unclear; the Diocese has not confirmed if he was a retired priest receiving pension and benefits, or if he had been laicized (removed from the priesthood by the Vatican).  In his obituary, he was identified as “Rev. Thomas Scala,” which suggests he was considered a retired priest (hopefully without faculties to minister).

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.  The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

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