SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Four men are filing separate lawsuits against the Diocese of Scranton, Bishop James Timlin, and Bishop Joseph Bambera over allegations of sexual abuse.
Michael C. Heil, James J. Pliska, John Patchcoski and “M.A.” (whose identity is being withheld) all claim they were sexually abused by Father Michael Pulicare for a period of seven years between the ages of 7 and 14. Pulicare, who died in 1999, formerly served as Assistant Pastor at St. Joseph’s Parish in Minooka.
According to a press release from the lawyers, the men seek “to hold the Diocese and the bishops accountable for their role in creating and fostering an environment that allowed and encouraged sexually deviant and predatory priests to prey upon and forcibly rape, sodomize and sexually molest innocent young boys; and then conspiring to withhold and safeguard known information of such heinous acts perpetrated by Diocesan priests.”
The lawyers say that in at least one case, Bishop Timlin knew that Father Pulicare was sharing a bed with one of his victims.
A representative for the Diocese tells Eyewitness News that there will be no comment until the suit is filed. A press conference is being held by the law firm at the Hilton in Scranton on Wednesday.