Diocese of Scranton Priest Facing Child Sex Charges
By Edward Lewis
June 15, 2012
A Diocese of Scranton priest who formerly was assigned at Bishop Hoban High School and parishes throughout Luzerne County was charged in Tioga County with sexually assaulting an alter server.
The Rev. Thomas P. Shoback, 66, of Wilkes-Barre, was charged by state police at Mansfield with multiple sex offenses involving the boy, who is now an adult.
State police said the alleged assaults took place from 1991 through 1997 while Shoback was assigned at St. Mary’s Parish in Blossburg, Tioga County.
Shoback was suspended by the Dicoese in November when allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. State police filed a total of 32 sexual offenses, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault, on Monday with District Judge James Carlson in Blossburg.
Shoback will be arraigned on the charges at a later date, state police said.
According to the Diocese, Shoback was ordained in 1977 and formerly 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 in Plains Township, Holy Redeemer Parish in Exeter Township, St. Joseph’s Parish in Hazleton Nativity BVM in Plymouth Township, Bishop Hoban High School in Wilkes-Barre, and parishes in Monroe and Lycoming counties.
Shoback was a teacher at Bishop Hoban from 1984 to 1989.
State police said they launched an investigation in November after the Diocese received information from a former alter boy regarding sexual abuse by Shoback at St. Mary’s Parish in Blossburg.
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 reported admitted to those allegations and was defrocked by the Vatican in 2009.