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Prosecutors Review Allegation Against Priest In Pa. Diocese

Apr 9, 2003 | AP Prosecutors are reviewing the first allegation of sexual abuse during the tenure of the current bishop of a western Pennsylvania Roman Catholic diocese to determine whether a priest may be charged.

Investigators want to know whether Darrin Mangicarne's claim he was abused by a priest from 1988 to 1990 falls within the statute of limitations, said Blair County District Attorney David Gorman.

Former Gov. Mark Schweiker in June approved extending the statute of limitations for victims to file civil lawsuits or prosecutors to file criminal charges in sexual abuse cases from five years after a victim's 18th birthday to 12 years after.

Gorman said it's unclear whether Mangiacarne's claims would fall under the new law.

In a lawsuit last week, Mangiacarne, 25, of Philadelphia, became the first person to allege he was abused during current Bishop Joseph Adamec's 15-year tenure. He claims he was molested by Monsignor Thomas Mabon while an altar boy at St. Mary's Church in Hollidaysburg from 1988 to 1990.

Mangiacarne said the abuse took place in the priest's changing room and sacristy, where holy objects are kept, and Mabon told him that the abuse "would serve as penance for his confession," the lawsuit said.

Mabon, 76, who retired two years ago after serving as pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows Church in Johnstown, said he never abused Mangiacarne.

Mangiacarne is one of nine men who have sued this year claiming they were sexually abused by priests in the diocese, which is based in Hollidaysburg, about 85 miles east of Pittsburgh.

Together, the lawsuits represent the first such actions faced by the diocese since a 1987 case against a now-defrocked priest that resulted in a $1.2 million award.

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