McGettigan Allentown Clerical Abuse
Title: Lawsuit: Man alleges Allentown Diocese priests sexually abused, tortured him in church basement in the 1970s
Author: Laurie Mason Schroeder
Publisher: The Morning Call
A Texas man is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown and one of its churches, St. Catharine of Siena in Reading, claiming he was sexually abused and tortured by several priests in a church basement in the 1970s.
Timothy Paul McGettigan’s attorneys say their client learned that he was not alone in being abused by Allentown Diocese priests from the scathing 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report on unchecked sexual abuse by clergy across the state, and decided to come forward. He is seeking a jury trial and unspecified monetary damages.
In the lawsuit, filed this week in Lehigh County Court, McGettigan alleges he was sexually abused by two priests, the Rev. Joseph Grembocki and the Rev. David A. Soderlund, as well as several other priests whom he cannot identify.
Grembocki died in July 2016 while serving as a pastor at Assumption BVM Church in Slatington. Soderlund was defrocked in 2005 and is no longer a priest.
McGettigan’s attorneys said the grand jury report revealed to them “an entirely new set of facts, previously unknown,” and claim that the diocese “made, and continues to make” efforts to protect predator priests by “actively concealing known facts of sexual abuse of children, failing to report such abuse to the proper authorities, and failing to properly remove sexually abusive clergy members from their positions and their access to minor children.”
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