PITTSBURGH - Two new lawsuits were filed Friday alleging child sexual abuse by priests in the Pittsburgh diocese.
Both lawsuits name Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop David Zubik and Cardinal Donald Wuerl as defendants.
David Rebholz claims he was sexually assaulted by William P. O’Malley in 1978, when he was 11 years old. The incident allegedly occurred at the St. Canice Church rectory in Knoxville, Pa.
Heather Taylor, the plaintiff in the second case, claims she was sexually assaulted by Lawrence O’Connell starting about 1977, when Taylor was only 5 years old at the St. Gabriel rectory in Whitehall.
Later, starting in 1983, she claims she was also assaulted a number of times by Edward Huff at his living quarters at the same location.
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According to attorney Alan Perer, who represents both cases, the lawsuits stem from last month’s grand jury report which showed allegations against all three men while they were employed as priests in the Pittsburgh diocese.
"Only because the grand jury has out this out in the open, do they have the courage and the fortitude to come forward," he told Channel 11.
Perer alleges that because the diocese covered up the sexual abuse claims against these priests, his clients were unable to pursue lawsuits within the statute of limitations.
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