Reporting Tony Hanson
Filed underCrime and Justice, Heard On, Local, News, Philadelphia, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Another stunning allegation was disclosed during testimony today in the Philadelphia clergy sex abuse case: an attempted gang rape at the St. Charles Borromeo seminary several decades ago.
The newest testimony was presented as the prosecution tries to show that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and some of its officials had a history of failing to act against alleged sexual predators.
The evidence from the church’s “secret archive” file said that a Father Thomas Wisniewski remained in active ministry for a decade after admitting in 1992 that he had had sex with a teenage boy for years.
During therapy after Wisniewski’s alleged admission, according to the archives, the priest claimed that he had been the target of an attack by other seminarians when he was at St. Charles Borromeo. He said a group of seminarians held him down and tried to have sex with him, but a friend saved him from the attack.
There was no additional testimony, and no evidence was presented about whether his claim was ever investigated.
Father Wisniewski graduated from the seminary in 1970. He remained in ministry for about a decade after his alleged admission.
Monsignor William Lynn is on trial, charged with endangering children by allowing predatory priests to remain in active ministry. He had pleaded not guilty.
The judge in the trial has imposed a gag order, so the trial attorneys cannot comment on the proceedings.