July 7, 2017
We first told you last night about a local Priest placed on leave after allegations of sexual abuse. Tonight we found that church records show it is not his first leave of absence. Our reporter spoke to church leaders and joins us live with details. You can probably hear the bells all around me and across the street is Saint Elizabeth, Those two churches were the last places that the Father Petracca worked in the Diocese. Here is what the Diocese leaders originally told us earlier this week. "Has he ever been placed on leave before ?" "Not to my knowledge." We checked records and directories and that shows he was on leave the for three years in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Degol says today that leave was not associated with any allegations like this most recent one is. He says he took a personal leave in 2000 and couldn't go into details about why since it was personal. He says he was recently appointed to a new position in Our Lady of Lords and UPMC in Altoona but the Bishop placed him on leave before he started to work there. According to records this dates back to the 80s and says the Bishop took action and notified law enforcement, and removed him as soon as he found out about these allegations. The leave will be in affect as this investigation continues.