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  4 in Pennsylvania Allege They Are Victims of Ex-Diocesan Priest
Allentown Catholic Spokesman Surprised by Reports in Texas Probe

By Matt Assad and Joe McDonald
Morning Call (Allentown, PA)
October 14, 2002

Officials in Texas investigating child molestation charges against a former Allentown diocesan Catholic priest are receiving complaints from Pennsylvania alleging other molestations, a newspaper reported over the weekend.

"We're receiving quite a bit of information about victims in Pennsylvania at this time," Texas Ranger Jay Foster told the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News.

The priest, 73-year-old Rev. Edward R. Graff, was arrested Oct. 4 and charged with molesting a 15-year-old Texas boy.

Foster said Texas officials, who had received reports from 15 possible victims in Texas, had another four from Pennsylvania, the Globe-News reported. The reports from Pennsylvania involve possible victims who are from 30 to more than 50 years old, Foster told the newspaper.

Allentown Diocese spokesman Matt Kerr said Sunday he was "surprised" by reports of potential victims in Pennsylvania.

"We communicated to the Amarillo Diocese rumors that had surfaced, but we never had any contact with actual victims," Kerr said. "This is all new to us."

Kerr explained that Graff left the Allentown Diocese in 1988 for an alcohol treatment facility in New Mexico. After he left, rumors surfaced in the Allentown Diocese about the priest and the diocese notified Amarillo church officials about those rumors in 1993, Kerr said.

Graff allegedly had a sexual relationship for about a year with a boy he had hired to work at a Texas church rectory.

The Amarillo newspaper reported that the boy, who told investigators that young boys visited the rectory while he was there, has supplied a list of 15 other potential victims.

Graff served in seven parishes in the Lehigh Valley and Reading between 1957 and 1983.

Last week, Briscoe County District Attorney Becky McPherson in Texas asked other alleged victims to contact her office. That's when the calls started coming in from people reporting abuse during Graff's time in the Allentown Diocese.

On Sunday, Graff was being held under guard in a Lubbock area hospital, where he was taken for treatment Wednesday. Officials said Graff fell and broke his hip while taking taking a shower in the Swisher County Jail, county Sheriff Larry Stewart said.

 
 

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