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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two new lawsuits have been filed against the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese, Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Bishop David Zubik in the wake of the grand jury report.
One lawsuit claims David Rebholz was sexually assaulted by Reverend William O’Malley III when he was between the ages of 11 and 12.
O’Malley was the assistant pastor at St. Canice at the time. Rebholz says O’Malley told him he and three other boys were invited to spend the night at the church, but when Rebholz arrived, he and O’Malley were alone.
Rebholz claims O’Malley gave him candy and a beer. After Rebholz felt sick from drinking some of the beer, O’Malley told him he could sleep in his bed and O’Malley would sleep on the couch in the other room, but O’Malley allegedly later returned to the bed, took off Rebholz’s shorts and fondled him.
O’Malley also allegedly showed Rebholz photographs of three other young boys in their underwear and asked Rebholz if he could take similar photos.
The grand jury report states when confronted about sexual abuse allegations, O’Malley said the incidents “probably happened,” but he was “much more careful not to touch kids now.” O’Malley was later sent to rehab and diagnosed with ephebophilia, or sexual attraction to adolescent boys, but he returned to administrative work after getting out.
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The second lawsuit was filed by Heather Taylor who says she was assaulted by two reverends and a bishop when she was a minor.
Taylor claims Reverend Lawrence O’Connell fondled her on top of her uniform when she was attending St. Gabriel’s Sorrowful Mother School between the ages of 5 and 7. Taylor claims she was abused more than half a dozen times between 1977 and 1979.
Taylor says O’Connell and a nun both told her that if she told anyone what had happened, she “would go down the drain in the bathtub.”
In 1983 and 1984, Reverend Edward Huff, who was also a priest at St. Gabriel’s Church and St. Gabriel’s Sorrowful Mother School, would allegedly invite Taylor to the rectory to see the new parish dog, then fondle her under her uniform. He allegedly said if she told anyone, he would forbid her from attending her Confirmation and Mass.
Taylor also says when Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua visited St. Gabriel’s Church and school, he took her behind a partition in the lunchroom and groped her chest.
The first lawsuit filed against the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese since the release of the grand jury report alleged Fr. Jack Hoehl molested a minor over the course of five years.