“Father Poulson weaponized his faith and used it as a tool to abuse young boys,” says Shapiro

Local News

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro leveling charges on an Erie priest for allegedly sexually assaulting two minors.  The AG claims the Diocese of Erie hid information about the priest for years.

Shapiro was at the Erie County Courthouse to announce the charges against Father David Poulson.  He says anyone who abuses kids will have to answer to his office.

64-year-old Father David Poulson was arraigned in Jefferson County this morning on indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, and the corruption of minors.  The charges are sending shockwaves through the community.

According to Shapiro, Poulson allegedly began abusing one of the boys when he was eight years old, purportedly taking place from 2002 to 2010.  The victim claims he was assaulted in the rectory of Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Cambridge Springs and at a cabin co-owned by Poulson in Jefferson County. 

The second victim says Poulson assaulted him at the same cabin between 2003 and 2006, starting when he was 15. 

Shapiro says, “Father Poulson weaponized his faith and used it as a tool to abuse young boys”.

He says the Diocese of Erie had known about the complaints against the priest since at least May 2010. “It unconscionable to me that the church knew Poulson was a threat to children and allow him to stay in ministry and to be a threat to other children.”

Shapiro says regardless of platform or institution, people will be held accountable. “Anyone who abuses children in Pennsylvania will have to answer to me. And we will not relent in our pursuit of these predator priests or our pursuit of anyone who preys on young children here in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

To read Bishop Lawrence Persico’s full response, click here. 

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