Priest from Wilkes-Barre found guilty of child sex abuse
Thomas Shoback, 66, convicted on nine counts and could face essentially a life sentence.
Published: May 01. 2013 12:01AM
Last Modified: May 01. 2013 11:24PM
A Diocese of Scranton priest who was once assigned to several parishes in Luzerne County, including a Catholic high school, has been convicted of sexually assaulting an altar boy.
Diocese officials on Wednesday confirmed that the Rev. Thomas Shoback, 66, of Wilkes-Barre, was convicted Tuesday in Tioga County Court of Common Pleas on nine of the 32 counts with which he had been charged. Most of those counts exceeded the statute of limitations. Still, he reportedly could face essentially a life sentence.
State police had said the assaults took place from 1991 through 1997 when the boy was 11 to 17 years old, while Shoback was assigned at St. Mary’s Parish in Blossburg, Tioga County.
The diocese suspended Shoback in November 2011 when the allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.
Diocese spokesman William Genello said the diocese has cooperated with the investigation and prosecution of the criminal case since then.
After receiving the allegations, diocese officials notified the Tioga County District Attorney’s Office, reported the incidents to the Child Line and Abuse Registry operated by the state Department of Public Welfare, removed Shoback from ministry and suspended his faculties to exercise priestly ministries within the diocese, Genello said.
“Now that the criminal justice system has brought this case to closure, the Diocese of Scranton recognizes that the announcement of this verdict will serve as a very painful reminder of the wounds many survivors carry with them, most especially those who were harmed by Father Shoback,” the diocese said in a prepared statement.
Responding to the verdict, Scranton Bishop Joseph C. Bambera said: “At this time, I express my personal sorrow for the pain endured by those who suffered this abuse and extend my apology for any way in which the Church, and particularly its bishops, priests and deacons have failed them.”
He also reaffirmed a personal commitment to exercise vigilance in the protection of children and young people and thanked all who worked diligently to resolve the case.
With the civil law process completed, in accordance with The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Shoback is permanently removed from ecclesiastical ministry and his status as a priest will be referred to the Holy See in Rome for a final determination, Bambera said.
“While Church law has been and will continue to be exercised with regard to this situation, anyone who believes that they have been the victim of child sexual abuse is encouraged to contact law enforcement,” Bambera said. He asked the faithful to pray for the victims of abuse and all seeking healing, reconciliation and peace.
The diocese said Shoback was ordained in 1977 and served as pastor of St. Mary and St. Andrew Parish in Blossburg from February 1989 until July 1997.
He was previously assigned at Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary in Jermyn, Lackawanna County; St. Joseph’s Parish and Sacred Heart Parish, Plains Township; Holy Redeemer Parish, Exeter Township; St. Joseph’s Parish, Hazleton; Nativity BVM, Plymouth Township; the former Bishop Hoban High School, Wilkes-Barre, and parishes in Monroe and Lycoming counties.
Shoback was a teacher at Bishop Hoban from 1984 to 1989.
According to The Times Leader archives, Shoback’s brother, Edward J. Shoback, a former Diocese of Scranton priest who worked for more than 20 years at Luzerne County parishes and schools, was suspended in 2004 amid similar allegations of sexual abuse.
Edward Shoback reportedly admitted to those allegations and was defrocked by the Vatican in 2009.
Portland diocese: Madawaska clergy person sexually abused boy
Brother Paul L. Gauvin removed from current position at Connecticut parish
In a statement issued Saturday morning, the diocese said evidence was found to back up a claim by a Maine man who said Brother Paul L. Gauvin , now 73, sexually abused him in the early 1970s when he was an altar server at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Madawaska. Gauvin was the director of religious education at the parish at the time, according to Dave Guthro, a spokesman for the diocese.
Guthro said the man contacted officials at Sacred Heart Parish in Bloomfield, CT earlier this year and told them that Gauvin, the parish’s director of liturgy, had molested him over a two year period when the man was 11 and 12 years old.
Before his assignment at St. Thomas Aquinas, Gauvin worked as an English teacher at Madawaska High School. The high school employed Brothers of the Sacred Heart as teachers at the time, according to Guthro. The religious order left Maine in 1994, he said.
Guthro said Gauvin was removed from his position at the Connecticut parish immediately after the allegations were brought forth. The Brothers of the Sacred Heart have been notified of the investigations findings and are dealing with the matter with Gauvin, Guthro said. Gauvin is now being supervised by a religious superior from the order and will have no contact with minors, he said.
Guthro said the diocese has offered counseling, spiritual support and other social services to the victim.
From the link: http://wnyt.com/article/stories/S2583334.shtml?cat=300
Local priest on leave; abuse claims investigated
Posted at: 04/16/2012 10:37 AM | Updated at: 04/16/2012 10:54 AM
By: WNYT Staff
CAIRO – The Albany Roman Catholic Diocese has placed Father Jeremiah Nunan on administrative leave from ministry, after allegations that he sexually abused a minor.
Father Nunan was also on leave six years ago, when he faced similar accusations, before he was restored to ministry.
Seventy-four-year-old Jeremiah Nunan is pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Cairo and Our Lady of Knock Mission in East Durham.
The diocese placed him on administrative leave, after a civil lawsuit claimed that Nunan sexually abused a child between 1996 and 2003, and then between 2007 and last year when that person was an adult.
Reverend Nunan is temporarily barred from officiating at any sacraments, or presenting himself as a priest. Parishioners found out last weekend at mass.
Father Nunan was also on leave in 2006, after being accused of sexually abusing a teenaged boy in the late 1960’s and early seventies.
When NewsChannel 13 reported those accusations six years ago, many parishioners voiced their support of the priest.
The diocese says an investigation by the Independent Mediation Assistance Program could not substantiate the abuse claim, and Nunan returned to his duties.
Reverend Nunan has served at Saint Henry’s in Averill Park, Saint Mary’s in Little Falls, Assumption Parish in Latham, and Saint Mary’s in Hudson.