PITTSBURGH — More than 100 local priests were named in the Pennsylvania grand jury diocese abuse report released in August.
Channel 11 has worked tirelessly going through those names to investigate the allegations against priests in our local communities. We started looking into one priest’s background in particular after we found a police report saying there was evidence to substantiate claims against him.
The Rev. Robert Moslener was placed on leave from the Greensburg diocese in 2002 after multiple allegations of sexual abuse of minors. Those allegations are all documented in the grand jury report.
According to the report, bishops William Connare and Anthony Bosco allowed Moslener to prey on children for 22 years after the first complaint.
In 1980, after the first allegation of inappropriate behavior with a 15-year-old boy, Moslener was sent for evaluation. An internal diocesan document called it “an unacceptable yet understandable waystation on his path to more adult sexual integration.”
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Claims that the leaders of these dioceses knew about abuse and didn’t do enough to stop it have bothered state leaders and parishioners alike.
“What’s now the most outrageous part is clearly people in authority knew for not just a couple days, but for decades, and this is clear evidence right here,” said state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.
During his career, Moslener was moved between 10 different parishes. In 1986, six years after the first allegation, North Huntingdon police launched an investigation into Moslener and acts involving male juveniles.
At the time, Chief William Brkovich sent a letter to the diocesan attorney. Part of it reads, “We do have records on file to substantiate the charges.”
Channel 11 checked, and no charges were ever filed. Target 11’s Rick Earle wanted to know why, but soon found the answer isn’t easy to track down after more than 30 years.
At Target 11’s request, the police department conducted a search of their files, but found nothing. The district attorney at the time was John Driscoll, who is now a judge. He told Rick Earle it never came to his office.
The diocesan attorney, Vince Morocco, confirmed to Target 11 he did receive the letter, but that’s the last he heard of the case.
We tracked down the former police chief at his home in North Huntingdon. He has had been involved in two small plane crashes, and his wife said a traumatic brain injury left him with little recollection of what happened decades ago.
We also attempted to find Moslener. He is 73 years old now and lives in Pittsburgh. Target 11 knocked on his door. A man answered but said Moslener wasn’t there.
In all, the grand jury identified six victims. One victim wrote an email to the diocese included in the grand jury report. Part of it says Moslener is “enjoying his golden years unscathed. His name doesn’t appear on any sex offender registry, his victims continue to struggle to this day.”
Cox Media Group