Four New Post-Grand Jury Child Abuse Lawsuits Filed Against Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese
New Cases Assert Fraudulent Concealment of Child Sexual Abuse
By: spk - law firm of Swensen & Perer
PITTSBURGH - Oct. 4, 2018 - PRLog -- Today, Alan Perer filed lawsuits on behalf of Paul F. Beran, James Imhoff, Glenn A. Ostrowski and Richard A. Votedian, all of whom as children were sexually abused by priests.
The named defendants are the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop David A. Zubik, and Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl.
These lawsuits are among a growing number filed since the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report that showed the Diocese's continuous and active concealment of critical information about child sexual abusers whom it employed as priests, school officials and child counselors.
The lawsuits are based on new information in the Grand Jury Report taken from secret Diocese records regarding Edward Joyce, Carl Roemele, Richard Zula and John S. Hoehl, who were employed as priests by the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
The Grand Jury Report shows that reports of persistent child abuse made against Joyce, Zula, Roemele and Hoehl were hidden by the Diocese in secret files. These intentionally concealed reports were made to the Diocese before, during and after the four plaintiffs were being sexually abused.
Paul Beran was sexually assaulted by Edward Joyce between 1966 and 1968, starting when Beran was 11 years old. These incidents occurred at the St. Joseph Church parish on the North Side, Pittsburgh, where Joyce was a priest.
James Imhoff was ten years old when he was first assaulted in 1963 by Carl Roemele at St. Joseph's parish in Mount Oliver, Pennsylvania, where Roemele was a priest.
Glenn Ostrowski became one of many victims of John Hoehl starting in 1982, while Hoehl was headmaster at Quigley Catholic High School in Baden, Pennsylvania.
Richard Votedian was 12 or 13 years old in 1982 when he was first sexually assaulted by Richard Zula at St. Michael's parish in Munhall, Pennsylvania, where Zula was a priest.
The Pittsburgh Diocese was fully responsible for the placement, employment and maintenance of these priests at every one of these incidents of child sexual abuse.
Because of systematic fraudulent concealment and conspiracy to conceal by the Diocese, the sexual abuse histories of these priests were hidden from the public and from these four plaintiffs and their respective families, until the Grand Jury Report made them public.
Had these facts and this evidence been known, a civil suit versus the Diocese could have been pursued within the statute of limitations. The active and on-going concealment of this critical evidence provides a basis to extend the statute of limitations in all four cases.
As indicated in the Grand Jury's report, the information in the Diocese documents was kept hidden from those whom it most affected. It was only the Grand Jury's power of subpoena that revealed this evidence, and the extent of the Diocese's knowledge, conspiracy to conceal and complicity.
The case will seek expansion of the statute of limitations for past victims of abuse under existing Pennsylvania legal principles and accepted public policy.
Complaints were filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and the defendants duly notified. GD 18-012795 (Beran v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, et al). GD 18-012792 (Imhoff v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, et al). GD 18-012791 (Ostrowski v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, et al). GD 18 -012793 (Votedian v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, et al).
On Tuesday, August 14, 2018, the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania released the Report of the Grand Jury investigating child sexual abuse by priests in six Pennsylvania Catholic Dioceses, including the Pittsburgh Diocese.
Alan Perer is managing partner at SPK-The Law Firm of Swensen & Perer in Pittsburgh, PA. He has represented a large number of victims of sexual abuse by priests. He has over 40 years of experience in civil litigation and representing those who have been seriously injured. Wrongs Righted ®
CORRECTED 10:41 pm October 4, 2018
Page Updated Last on: Oct 04, 2018