“Priest charged with indecent assault of girl” & related articles & VIDEO

Share Button

Scranton police arrested a priest Thursday for plying a 13-year-old girl with alcohol and touching her feet and thighs inappropriately after a midnight Christmas mass in 1998.

Officers charged the Rev. Philip Altavilla, 48, who was a pastor at St. Patrick’s Parish in Scranton at the time of the alleged crime, with indecent assault, criminal attempt to indecent assault and corruption of minors.

The victim, who was a member of the St. Patrick’s Parish, told police that the Rev. Altavilla gave her alcohol in the rectory after the midnight service, then offered to drive her home at about 3 a.m. Once in the car, he pulled her legs on his lap and began touching her feet and moving his hands up her legs until the victim attempted to escape, according to the criminal complaint. The priest then apologized and drove the girl home.

The woman met with police Wednesday to report the assault. One day later, she called the priest while police listened. He admitted to providing alcohol and to touching her, saying it was “inappropriate” and sexual to him, according to the complaint.

The Citizens’ Voice does not name victims of sexual assault.

Upon being notified of the charges, the diocese removed the Rev. Altavilla from his assignment and his faculties to exercise priestly ministry were suspended, according to a statement released by Diocese of Scranton Chancellor Teresa Osborne. The statement indicated the diocese was cooperating with police in their investigation.

“I am both angry and demoralized to think that, yet again, a priest has been involved in such inappropriate, immoral and illegal behavior,” Bishop Joseph C. Bambera said in the statement. “It is particularly distressing that the pastor of our Cathedral Parish, who is known to countless numbers of the faithful and has served in so many positions of trust and responsibility in the Diocese of Scranton has betrayed that trust in such a manner.”

The Rev. Altavilla was arraigned Thursday and released on $75,000 unsecured bail. It was unclear late Thursday how long the priest has been with the Diocese of Scranton.

pcameron@timesshamrock.com

@pcameronTT

_________________________________

Scranton priest arrested for assaulting minor on Christmas morning

The Times Tribune (Scranton PA)

Published: April 4, 2014

Scranton police arrested a priest Thursday for plying a 13-year-old girl with alcohol and touching her inappropriately after a midnight Christmas Mass in 1998.

Officers charged the Rev. Philip Altavilla, 48, a pastor at St. Patrick’s Parish in Scranton at the time of the alleged crime, with indecent assault, criminal attempt to indecent assault and corruption of minors.

The reverend was suspended Thursday from his position as pastor of the Cathedral Church of St. Peter in Scranton, the bishop’s seat, the Diocese of Scranton officials said in a statement.

“I am both angry and demoralized to think that, yet again, a priest has been involved in such inappropriate, immoral and illegal behavior,” the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, said in the statement. “It is particularly distressing that the pastor of our Cathedral Parish, who is known to countless numbers of the faithful and has served in so many positions of trust and responsibility in the Diocese of Scranton, has betrayed that trust in such a manner.”

The victim, who was a member of the St. Patrick’s Parish, told police that the Rev. Altavilla gave her alcohol in the rectory after the midnight service, then offered to drive her home at about 3 a.m. Once in the car, he pulled her legs on his lap and began touching her feet and moving his hands up her legs until the victim attempted to escape, according to the criminal complaint. The priest then apologized and drove the girl home.

The Times-Tribune does not name victims of sexual assault.

The woman met with police Wednesday to report the assault. One day later, she called the priest while police listened in. He admitted to providing alcohol and to touching her, saying it was “inappropriate” and sexual to him, according to the complaint.

The Rev. Altavilla was arraigned Thursday and released on $75,000 unsecured bail.

He was ordained in 1992 and served as an assistant pastor at St. Patrick’s Parish from July 1996 to March 2000.

Contact the writer: pcameron@timesshamrock.com, @pcameronTT on Twitter

________________________________________

Priest Accused of Having Sexual Contact with a Teenager

WNEP  (wnep.com)

Posted on: 10:17 pm, April 3, 2014, by , updated on: 12:00pm, April 4, 2014

SCRANTON — A priest of the Diocese of Scranton was arrested for allegedly having sexual contact with a teenager.

The Rev. Philip Altavilla, 48, was arraigned on Thursday.

Fr. Altavilla is the pastor at St. Peter’s Cathedral in downtown Scranton.  The cathedral is the main church of the Diocese of Scranton.

Fr. Altavilla was arrested and charged Thursday night for inappropriate contact he allegedly had with a teenage girl in 1998 when he was the pastor at a church in west Scranton.

Altavilla was charged with indecent assault and corruption of minors.

Earlier this week, a young woman came forward saying Altavilla touched her inappropriately when she was 13 years old in 1998. The young woman says Altavilla touched her feet and legs and in a phone call made this week    court papers say Altavilla told the victim he has a foot fetish and he knew touching her was inappropriate.

After Altavilla’s arrest, Bishop Joseph Bambera released this statement:

“I am both angry and demoralized to think that, yet again, a priest has been involved in such inappropriate, immoral and illegal behavior.  It is particularly distressing that the pastor of our cathedral parish, who is known to countless numbers of the faithful and has served in so many positions of trust and responsibility in the Diocese of Scranton has betrayed that trust in such a manner.”

Officials from the diocese say Fr. Altavilla has been removed as pastor of St. Peter’s Cathedral and his priestly duties have been suspended.

Fr. Altavilla is free on bail.

1 Response to “Priest charged with indecent assault of girl” & related articles & VIDEO

  1. Sylvia says:

    “The woman met with police Wednesday to report the assault. One day later, she called the priest while police listened in. He admitted to providing alcohol and to touching her, saying it was “inappropriate” and sexual to him…”

    Good for police for setting up the call. And good for the victim for going to police in the first place to report Fr. Altavilla, and then good for her for making that phone call. Well done!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *