4 Priests Who Served in Lancaster County Accused of Sexually Abusing Children
By Earle Cornelius
August 11, 2016
Four priests who previously served Lancaster County parishes within the Diocese of Harrisburg are among 15 priests accused of child sexual abuse, according to an investigation by the York Daily Record.
The 15 priests were named in a story this week after the diocese acknowledged them by name.
The priests who served Lancaster County parishes are:
- Guy Marsico, who was assigned to St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Rohrerstown, in 1976 and from 1979 to 1982. The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News reported in 2011 that a Lancaster County man alleged he was sexually abused by Marsico at St. Rose of Lima Church in York in the 1980s when he was a boy. It was reported that no records could be found to show whether Marsico was ever charged.
-Gerald Bugge, who served at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 501 E. Orange St., Lancaster, from August of 1986 to April 1988. He was one of 57 priests accused of child sexual abuse and were named by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in September 2002.
-William Geiger, who served two assignments at Our Mother of Perpetual Help, 330 Church Ave., Ephrata — from July 1987 to August 1993 and from August 1999 to June 2007 — and at St. Anthony of Padua in Lancaster from April 1994 to August 1999. According to the Daily Record, Geiger and another priest were sued by Toledo, Ohio, attorney David Zoll on behalf of three men who said the priests molested them when they were boys. The alleged abuse occurred in the 1970s at a church in Lima, Ohio.
-Frederick Vaughan, who was assigned to St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 1840 Marshall Road, Elizabethtown, from 1966 to 1970. The Harrisburg diocese said it received allegations of abuse against Vaughn after his death but not while he was alive.
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Marsico is still living. Bugge, Geiger and Vaughan have since died.
Harrisburg diocese spokesman Joe Aponick said that some of the child sexual abuse by the 15 identified priests occurred while those priests were serving in the Harrisburg diocese. The abuses took place years ago.
Aponick said the Rev. Patrick Shannon was the most recent priest to be removed. He was removed in 2005 for abuses that are alleged to have taken place years earlier in another diocese.
The diocese said there is no record of credible allegations against Vaughan or Bugge while they were in the Harrisburg diocese.
In a written response to Daily Record reporter Brandie Kessler that was made available to LNP, Harrisburg Bishop Ronald W. Gainer stated that “Our church has learned its own lessons on this the hard way and our diocese has not been immune, yet for decades the Diocese of Harrisburg has been taking strong and aggressive steps to combat it.
“Since the early 1990’s,” he continued, “the Diocese of Harrisburg has a well-established zero tolerance policy for clergy employees and volunteers who engage in misconduct with children, and we take immediate action when an accusation is made.”
Aponick said whenever the diocese is contacted about incidents of child sexual abuse, it shares that information with the district attorney from the county in which the abuse is alleged to have taken place.
The diocese asks anyone who has been a victim of child sexual abuse by those associated with the church to contact the diocese at 800-626-1608 or call the Pennsylvania ChildLine at 800-932-0313.
According to published reports, the Harrisburg diocese has spent $3.4 million for settlements and counseling for victims.
Other priests identified by the Daily Record include John Bostwick III; Thomas F. Lawler; James E. Noel; Raymond Prybis; James Shaughnessey; John G. Allen; Augustine Giella; Reginald Krakovsky; David Luck; Joseph M. Pease; and Shannon.