Accused Priest Now at Drexel D.A. Cited James Iannarella in Report

By Dana DiFilippo
Philadelphia Daily News
October 6, 2005

A priest accused of sexually abusing a Delaware County teenager now works amid thousands of teenagers and young adults as a Drexel University administrator.

James M. Iannarella was one of 63 priests whom Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham named last month in a blistering report accusing the clerics of sexual perversions against children, and church authorities of a cover-up.

Iannarella, 36, works as an assistant vice president in Drexel's Office of Government and Community Relations. Although still a priest, he is not active in any ministry.

Abraham's report accuses Iannarella of molesting a 17-year-old female student from May to August 1999 at St. Joseph's parish school in Aston, Delaware County, where he was a parochial vicar.

Niki Gianakaris, a Drexel spokeswoman, said Iannarella has worked at Drexel since November 2001.

"Mr. Iannarella's primary responsibilities focus on external initiatives and activities," Gianakaris said in a written statement. "The University is unaware of any charges ever having been filed against him, per our policy of background checks of all prospective employees."

Prosecutors never filed charges against Iannarella - or any but one of the priests listed in the report - not because of a lack of evidence but because the statute of limitations had expired in most of the alleged crimes, Abraham has said.

Such statutes vary depending on the crime and age of the victim. For some sex crimes, prosecution must commence within two to five years of the crime, while the clock starts ticking for others from the victim's 18th birthday. Another amendment requires child-sex-abuse cases to be initiated by the victim's 30th birthday.

It was unclear yesterday what statutes Abraham's office applied to Iannarella's case. Prosecutor Charlie Gallagher said he couldn't immediately comment on what had prevented his office from prosecuting Iannarella.

Iannarella did not return telephone calls from the Daily News.

But his current post - given the recent allegations against him - left some uncomfortable.

"Is a major university a good place for a sex offender to work?" one observer angrily demanded.

Bud Bretschneider, chairman of the Catholic watchdog group Voice of the Faithful, agreed. "I wonder if Drexel knows what his history is. Certainly Drexel should be informed that he in fact left the priesthood as a result of sexual molestation [allegations]. I would be concerned that he would be molesting young women at Drexel."

Archdiocese spokesman Matthew Gambino declined to comment, saying: "We're just not commenting on specific cases."

Iannarella underwent a church-ordered psychological evaluation in September 1999 at St. John Vianney Hospital after the abuse allegations came to light, according to the report. He was to undergo outpatient treatment at the hospital after that evaluation was completed, but it was unclear from the report whether he had.

He was placed on administrative leave in 1999 and left active ministry in September 2003, according to the report.



Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems