PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A higher court is listening today to a family’s argument that the Catholic Church failed to continue to pay for their loved one’s counseling after alleged abuse by a priest.
They stood at the front of the City County Building downtown with signs asking for justice.
“Michael Unglo, he is my brother, whenever he was a younger boy at All Saints Church in Etna, he was molested for four years by a priest by the name of Richard J. Dorsch,” said Frances Samber, the victim’s sister.
Dorsch was later convicted in the molestation of another child.
The Pittsburgh Diocese agreed to pay for Unglo’s continuing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, which was the believed result of the alleged abuse. However, the family says the payments for treatment eventually stopped.
“The church said it was just too expensive for them to take care of and they quit funding,” said Samber. “He committed suicide on May 4, 2010.”
Up until that time, the Diocese had spent some $300,000 on Unglo’s treatment.
“The Diocese of Pittsburgh can’t accept that any action of the Diocese contributed to or was responsible for his death,” said Fr. Ron Lengwin, of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. “We believe that the facts of this case will bear this out.”
“We want all of their actions shown in front of a jury and let the jury decide if they truly did handle this case appropriately,” Samber added. “He never got an apology; he never got an appropriate apology.”
The Superior Court will be hearing the case later today on the family’s request for a civil jury trial. A lower court threw the case out.