5 Pittsburgh Priests Went to Prison

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
February 28, 2004

Seven priests from the Pittsburgh Catholic diocese have been arrested for child sex abuse. Five went to prison, accounting for 5 percent of the 100 who did so nationwide. The seven:

* Rev. Richard Ginder: Former editor of prominent Catholic publications, including "Our Sunday Visitor," and official diocesan censor. Placed on 10 years' probation in 1969 after police searched his Squirrel Hill home and found photographs of teenage boys performing homosexual acts and diaries documenting his own acts. Stripped of priestly duties in 1976 after publishing a book criticizing church positions on sexual morality. In 1978, convicted of sodomizing two 16-year-old boys. Sentenced to up to four years in prison. Died at age 70 in a 1984 car accident.

* Rev. Robert Wolk: Former pastor of St. Thomas More Church in Bethel Park and one-time assistant chancellor of the diocese. Accused in 1988 along with fellow priests Richard Zula and Francis Pucci of sexually assaulting two altar boys. Sentenced up to 10 years in prison.

* Rev. Richard Zula: Pleaded guilty in 1989 molestation of a 15-year-old altar boy at Seven Springs. Sentenced to up to five years in prison. Had been pastor at SS. Mary & Ann Church in Marianna, Washington County.

* Rev. Francis Pucci: Left his post at Immaculate Conception Church in Washington, Pa., in 1987, a year before state police named him and two other priests as suspects in the sexual assault of two former altar boys. Charges were dropped because statute of limitations had passed. Forced into early retirement and banned from public ministry. Died in 2002.

* Rev. Anthony Cipolla: Arrested in 1978 for allegedly molesting a 9-year-old boy. Charges dropped when the boy's mother withdrew the complaint. Banned from public ministry after a 1988 lawsuit and forcibly laicized by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Maintains his innocence.

* Rev. Richard Dorsch: Charged in 1994 with molesting a 13-year-old boy at North Park. Sentenced to up to 23 months in jail. Resigned from the priesthood in 1996.

* Rev. Edward Huff: Accused in 1992-93 by several families from Swissvale and Bessemer, Lawrence County, of molesting their sons. Sentenced to up to five years in jail. Resigned from priesthood.


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