Priest Cleared of Sex Charges Now Accused of Harassment, Disorderly Conduct
Police: Suspect Made Inappropriate Sexual Comments to Man

WPXI [Pennsylvania]
September 14, 2006

Priest-Turned-Counselor Has Troubled Past

Armstrong County, Pa. -- A Roman Catholic priest cleared of sex charges a decade ago now faces new charges.

Target 11 learned Stephen Forish, 61, is not only a priest but he's a licensed psychologist as well, working at a practice in Armstrong County.

Now he's accused of harassment and disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged incident happened at an intersection in Greensburg during the early-morning hours of Aug. 6.

Police said Forish approached a man and, according to the criminal complaint, made an inappropriate sexual comment.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Forish used obscene language and asked for sexual favors.

The affidavit said Forish engaged in the same type of activity with three other subjects.

Target 11 learned that Forish is a Roman Catholic priest with the Allentown Diocese and a licensed psychologist.

For the past two years he's been living at the Benedictine Monastery in Greensburg.

A spokesman for the Allentown Diocese told Target 11, "It's a legal matter now in the hands of the court."

Forish is not in active ministry and has not been for several years. But this isn't Forish's first brush with the law.

Target 11 learned 10 years ago, while a Catholic priest at a parish in the Allentown Diocese, Forish was arrested and charged with promoting prostitution.

According to the criminal complaint, Forish allegedly offered a man money for sex and then asked the man if he knew any 15 year olds who would do that.

According to a spokesman for the Allentown Diocese, Forish, who was a in charge of a parish at the time, was placed on leave.

Two years later, the case went to trial and a jury found him not guilty.

He was then reinstated as a priest in good standing.

According to the diocese, Forish went back to school and obtained his doctorate in psychology.

For the past two years he's been living at St. Emma Monastery in Greensburg while working at the psychological practice in Kittanning.

A spokeswoman for the monastery told Target 11 she was aware of his acquittal in 1998, but she was not aware of the alleged incident in Greensburg in August.

A spokesman for the Greensburg Diocese told Target 11 they were notified of the alleged incident, but they said that Forish is working in a non-church related activity and is not affiliated with the Greensburg Diocese.

Target 11 learned that Forish left the area after they questioned him.

According to a spokesman for the Allentown Diocese, Forish returned to his home near Allentown.

He is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing in Greensburg next month.


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