SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A Catholic priest whose ministry included counseling troubled youths is facing charges in northeastern Pennsylvania after police say he admitted to sex acts with a 15-year-old boy.
The Rev. William Paulish was in Lackawanna County prison, unable to post $50,000 bail Friday. The charges include corruption of a minor, indecent exposure, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person under 16. Court records did not list a lawyer for Paulish.
The Times-Tribune of Scranton reported that Paulish, 56, has been reassigned 15 times by the Diocese of Scranton after being ordained in 1988 and has had three separate leaves of absence.
The diocese did not respond to the newspaper’s requests to explain the reassignments and absences. In a press release, the diocese said it removed Paulish from his assignment as assistant pastor at Prince of Peace Parish in Old Forge and suspended his ability to work as a priest.
Paulish and the boy were caught by Dunmore police after Penn State Worthington Scranton security guards reported the priest’s car as suspicious when they saw it Thursday night parked near the tennis courts.
The boy did not have pants on when police arrived and both later admitted to performing sex acts, police said. Paulish told investigators that he arranged the meeting through an ad he posted on Craigslist, police said.