A Roman Catholic Priest Surrendered

United Press International
October 14, 1988

A Roman Catholic priest Friday surrendered to authorities and was arraigned on charges of sexually abusing two teenage altar boys for six years.

The Rev. Robert Wolk, 48, was arraigned before District Justice Russell Kimberland II on four counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and two counts each of attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and corruption of minors.

The charges were filed Tuesday against Wolk by Bethel Park police and the Allegheny County district attorney's office.

Wolk was released on his own recognizance pending psychiatric evaulation and a hearing before Kimberland on Oct. 20.

Wolk waived extradition to Allegheny County from Suitland, Md., where he has been staying at St. Luke's Institute, a psychiatric facility that treats sexual disorders.

Wolk is the former pastor of St. Thomas More Church in Bethel Park and a former diocesan assistant chancellor.

The charges stem from allegations made by two brothers, now 18 and 20 years old, who said Wolk and two other priests, the Rev. Richard Zula and the Rev. Francis Pucci, sexually assaulted them.

Wolk, Zula and Pucci are under investigation in Washington County for sex offenses, said Washington County District Attorney John Pettit. Zula and Pucci have not been charged.

Wolk was removed from his diocesan position in September 1987 after allegations were made against him. Zula and Pucci also were placed on sick leave at the same time.

Pucci also has been staying at St. Luke's Institute, but Zula's whereabouts are unknown.

The Rev. Ronald Lengwin, the diocesan spokesman, said the diocese does not reveal the whereabouts of priests who are on sick leave.

Because no charges had been filed against Zula or Pucci, Lengwin would not discuss their cases.


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