Eastern Pa. priest suspended after online sex-abuse lawsuit

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

June 27, 2018

By Peter Smith

A priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown, Pa., has been suspended after a lawsuit accused him of exploiting a teenage boy’s trust by engaging in sexual acts over the internet with him beginning in 2011.

The Allentown diocese said in a statement it had just learned of the lawsuit and that Monsignor Francis Nave will be removed from ministry pending investigation. Msgr. Nave was pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Bath, Pa.

The lawsuit arrives as the Allentown diocese and five other Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses brace for the release of a voluminous grand jury report into alleged sexual abuse and cover-up over the past seven decades. The report remains sealed pending challenges to its release before the state Supreme Court.

The lawsuit — filed Tuesday in the Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial District in Philadelphia — identifies the plaintiff only as John Doe. His Florida-based attorney, Jeff Herman, said the plaintiff also reported the abuse to law enforcement in Virginia.

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