Lawsuit alleges priest sexually assaulted altar boy at Luzerne church

Citizens Voice

July 8, 2020

By Michael P. Buffer

A Berks County man claims a priest sexually assaulted him in the mid-1970s when he was an altar boy between the ages of 10 and 13 at Sacred Heart Church in Luzerne Borough, according to a lawsuit that also alleges the Diocese of Scranton covered up prior incidents of the priest sexually abusing boys.

The priest named in the lawsuit is the late Rev. Robert Caparelli, an admitted and notorious child predator who is believed to have molested multiple boys during his 30 years as a diocesan priest.

In separate cases in the early 1990s, Caparelli was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting two altar boys between 1985 and 1989, in a Pike County rectory. Caparelli pleaded guilty to the abuse and died in prison in 1994.

The diocese settled at least three lawsuits filed by Caparelli’s victims. Two were filed by the parents of the Pike County boys and alleged the priest had HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, when he sexually abused their sons.

The latest lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Luzerne Court Court. Daniel F. Monahan, an attorney from Exton, represents Joseph Storz, the plaintiff from Berks County. Storz, 56, is seeking punitive damages and a jury trial.

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