Suit against Scranton Diocese alleges abuse, cover-up by repeat-offender priest

Scranton Diocese Abuse CoverUp

Title: Suit against Scranton Diocese alleges abuse, cover-up by repeat-offender priest
Author: Patrick Kernan
Publisher: Times Leader
Date: 07JUL2020
Rev. Robert Caparelli had predatory history, served time

WILKES-BARRE — A Berks County man filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Scranton on Tuesday, claiming the diocese conspired to cover up evidence of abuse in order to protect the alleged abuser.The Times Leader does not identify the victims of sexual abuse, but the suit was filed through the man’s attorney, Daniel F. Monahan. According to the suit, the man was abused by the late Rev. Robert Caparelli while the plaintiff was between the ages of 10 and 13.

Caparelli was a priest at various churches throughout the Diocese for decades, until he was arrested in the early 1990s, dying while serving prison time in 1994. The plaintiff in this case claims he was abused by Caparelli during his time at Sacred Heart Church, now the site of Holy Family Parish, in Luzerne Borough.

According to the suit, Caparelli’s abuse of the plaintiff began roughly around 1974, while he was an altar server at the church and Caparelli worked as a priest. The suit says Caparelli abused the plaintiff on numerous occasions, telling the boy that “his actions were acceptable because he liked him and he was ‘special.’”

The suit says the abuse occurred in the sacristy of the church.

The suit claims the Diocese of Scranton, including its former leaders J. Carroll McCormick and Bishop John O’Connor “were familiar with Caparelli’s sexual interest in male children as early as Aug. 14, 1968, and continued to be aware through direct confirmation of that sexual interest thereafter.”

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