• Priest sex abuse victim responds to delay of explosive grand jury report

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    A priest sex abuse victim is responding to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court delaying an explosive grand jury report.

    The grand jury looked into sex abuse cases in six dioceses across Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh and Greensburg.

    "When I heard it, I was saddened, I was frustrated a little bit. It felt like we are going to cover this up one more time," said Jim Vansickle.

    He testified before the grand jury about the alleged abuse he suffered at the hands of Rev. David Poulson 37 years ago.


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    Vansickle finally came forward after an accusation surfaced in February and Poulson was removed from the Catholic Diocese of Erie.

    Poulson was arrested and charged with molesting two boys between 2001 and 2010.

    "I want to see justice done, I want him to get some time and be registered for the rest of his life," Vansickle said.

    He told Channel 11 the court's decision to hear challenges to the public release is just part of the legal process.

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    "When you are naming names, people do have a right to put up some sort of a rebuttal," Vansickle said. "I think that's what it is, they're allowed to rebut that and I don't have any problem with that. That's the law," Vansickle said.

    Sources told 11 Investigates that individual priest identified in the grand jury report has challenged the public release, not the Catholic dioceses themselves.

    The Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese sent Channel 11 statement that they have cooperated fully with the grand jury: "Neither the Diocese of Pittsburgh nor Bishop David Zubik have motions pending before the Supreme Court to prevent the release of the Grand Jury Report."

    "I've waited 37 years, so I think I can wait a until the Supreme Court decides in terms of the wait period for me," Vansickle said.

    Authorities were not able to file charges in Vansickle's case because the statute of limitations has expired.

    Meanwhile, Poulson waived his right to a preliminary hearing and now his case is headed to trial.

    Channel 11 contacted all six Pennsylvania dioceses involved in the case and each confirmed they are not holding up the release of the grand jury report.

    Pittsburgh:

    We have cooperated fully with the Office of the Attorney General throughout the Grand Jury process and we continue to do so. Neither the Diocese of Pittsburgh nor Bishop David Zubik have motions pending before the Supreme Court to prevent the release of the Grand Jury Report.

    Harrisburg:

    “The Diocese of Harrisburg has fully cooperated with the Office of the Attorney General. The Diocese and Bishop Gainer strongly support the release of the Grand Jury report and have not filed anything to cause the stay ordered today. However, as we have stated before, it is critical that this Report is accurate.” – Spokesman Mike Barley

    Scranton:

    As stated previously, The Diocese of Scranton has not and will not block the release of the Grand Jury report. The contents of the report will be painful, but it is necessary for the report to be released in order for us to learn from it and to continue in our efforts to be responsive to victims and to create safe environments for our children. With regards to the stay, it's important that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court take all the steps it deems necessary.

    Greensburg:

    “The Diocese of Greensburg supports release of the grand jury report. The Diocese of Greensburg and Bishop Edward C. Malesic did not file a petition with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that led to the June 20 ruling.”

    Allentown:

    “The Diocese of Allentown has cooperated with the Grand Jury and has never attempted to block or delay the release of the Report, nor has any Diocesan official made such an attempt.”


     

     

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