Charleroi Priest Placed on Leave after Abuse Claim

By Ann Rodgers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
June 17, 2009

A Catholic pastor has been placed on leave from a Charleroi parish where he has served for 18 years due to an accusation that he sexually abused a minor more than a decade ago.

The Rev. David Dzermejko, 61, "was placed on administrative leave because of an allegation that we received and deemed to have some semblance of truth," said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

He declined to give any details of the allegation or the person who made it, other than to say that "it does not involve Mary Mother of the Church parish" in Charleroi, where he has served for 18 years.

Father Dzermejko was called to diocesan headquarters Monday, within 48 hours after the allegation was made, he said. He was placed on administrative leave and a letter was mailed to parishioners that day, Father Lengwin said.

The diocese regards administrative leave as a measure to protect all parties while an allegation is investigated. Father Lengwin said the priest could be reinstated if the allegations turn out to be unfounded.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Ann Rodgers can be reached at or 412-263-1416.


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