A former deacon accused of exchanging hundreds of online messages with an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old boy appeared in court Monday.
Rosendo Dacal, 73, is facing several felony charges related to the exchanges, which led Bishop David Zubik to strip him of his role in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Channel 11 has learned the diocese sent letters to three churches – All Saints in Etna, Dacal’s home parish of St. Bonaventure in Glenshaw, and the parish his grandchildren attend, St. John Newman in Franklin Park – explaining the allegations against Dacal asking anyone with information to come forward.
At his preliminary hearing, Channel 11 found out Dacal's facing two more felony charges: unlawful contact with a minor and child pornography. All charges were waived to court.
“These are devastating charges, and to say they’ve turned his world topsy-turvy would be an understatement,” said Dacal’s attorney, Bob Del Greco.
According to the criminal complaint, the undercover officer was contacted by someone with the username “chubbyguy,” who called himself an older male from Pennsylvania.
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Police tracked down the IP address to Dacal's Pittsburgh-area home, where he admitted he's the only one who uses that laptop.
Channel 11 found out the two allegedly exchanged hundreds of messages, many “sexually explicit and graphic in nature,” according to the complaint, and that Dacal had requested nude photos on numerous occasions. He also allegedly conducted four one-way video sessions where he exposed himself for the undercover officer.
Del Greco told Channel 11 he wouldn't discuss the merits of the case, and instead focused on his Dacal’s achievements.
“My client is a renaissance man, 73 (years old), mathematician, fluent in five languages, a lawyer, a deacon and also a chaplain and an opera singer,” Del Greco said.
Del Greco said he's confident there are no other incidents to report.
“Social media and access to lawyers, we'd have learned about it,” he said.
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