A priest formerly within the Catholic Diocese of Erie appeared in court today on assault charges.
The Diocese of Erie released more than 50 names of priests and laypersons credibly accused of sexual abuse. And today, one of the men on that list, Father David Poulson, is appearing before a judge for his preliminary hearing.
On May 8th, Poulson was arraigned in Jefferson County on felony counts of indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, and the corruption of minors.
At the time of his resignation, he was pastor of Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Cambridge Springs.
When Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the charges, he said it was unconscionable that the Diocese of Erie knew of Poulson’s alleged actions and allowed him to stay in ministry.
The Diocese has fought back against the claim, with both Bishop Lawrence Persico and Bishop Donald Trautman issuing statements. Since then, the Diocese has received the statewide Grand Jury Report on clergy sexual abuse. The report is expected to be released to the public by the end of the month.
When the Diocese of Erie first released their list of names, Bishop Persico said, “abuse is traumatic enough, but it’s Earth-shattering when it’s perpetrated by someone who is in a position of trust”.
Father Poulson appeared and waived his right to a preliminary hearing at 1:30 this afternoon.
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