Pittsburgh Diocese Places Another Priest on Leave Following Abuse Accusations
By Kevin Flowers
November 12, 2018
Bishop David Zubik placed a 73-year-old priest on administrative leave Sept. 12 pending investigation of two allegations of sexual abuse of minors, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said Monday.
The diocese said in a news release that two people had spoken to diocesan officials in early September about alleged incidents involving the Rev. Richard M. Lelonis. One incident allegedly occurred in the early 1970s, and the second is alleged to have occurred about 1980.
The allegations subsequently were reported to the Allegheny County District Attorney's office, the diocese said. Father Lelonis, who has denied the allegations, according to the diocese, was removed from the diocesan tribunal, which he had served full time since 1995.
His suspension is at least the fifth the diocese has announced since the release in August of a statewide grand jury report on accusations of sexual abuse by priests over several decades.