Priests who once served at area churches accused of child sex abuse
March 15, 2016
A grand jury report released Tuesday by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane indicted three members of the Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regulars in the Province of the Immaculate Conception located in Blair County, for alleged mishandling of members of the order who were accused of child sexual abuse dating back to the 1960s.
Three of eight members of the order accused of being child sex predators served at West Virginia parishes in Fort Ashby and Romney in the late 1980s and early 1990s, court documents showed.
Father Reginald Krakovsky served at Our Lady of Grace Church in Romney from 1991-1992.
Krakovsky, who died in 1997, allegedly engaged in child sexual abuse between 1963 and 1964 with two young boys at Holy Family Church in Minnesota. The matter resulted in civil litigation in 1994, with documents filed against the order saying the order "breached a duty to provide a safe environment for a child by exposing the child to Father Reginald Krakovsky who was in a position of trust and authority," the grand jury report said.
Father Martin Brady, who died in 2003, served at Church of the Annunciation in Fort Ashby from 1986-1990.
The report said Brady molested children between 11 and 17 years old while assigned to the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese and the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia.
Father Adalbert Wolski served at Our Lady of Grace in Romney in 1990.
Wolski, who died in 2012, was accused in the report of sexually abusing three boys between the ages of 10 and 11 between 1963 and 1967 while serving at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Altoona.
Another Third Order Regular Franciscan, Brother Stephen Baker, was accused of sexually abusing more than 80 students at Johnstown's Bishop McCort High School.
The 33-page presentment Tuesday charged Giles A. Schinelli, 73; Robert J. D'Aversa, 69; and Anthony M. Criscitelli, 61. All three, who were serving as ministers provincial of the Franciscan Friars, were indicted on one count each of endangering the welfare of children and criminal conspiracy.
The Johnstown Tribune Democrat repots a grand jury determined the three men had exclusive and total control over where to place Baker, who served at Bishop McCort from 1992 to 2000 and had continued access to the campus even after 2000.
“These men knew there was a child predator in their organization,” Kane said. “Yet they continued to put him in positions where he had countless opportunities to prey upon children," Kane said. "Their silence resulted in immeasurable pain and suffering for so many victims. These men turned a blind eye to the innocent children they were trusted to protect.”
The AG's report said the Third Order Regular Franciscans did not report any allegations against its members to police, choosing "silence over children's safety."
The Province of the Immaculate Conception of the Third Order Regular Franciscans, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and what is now called Bishop McCort Catholic High School reached settlements with more than 80 of Baker's victims.
Baker committed suicide in January 2013 at age 62.
On March 1, a 147-page grand jury report said at least 50 priests and religious leaders within the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese had committed child sex abuse and several diocese leaders had reportedly worked to keep the allegations under wraps.