March 29, 2005

Priest's abuse trial rescheduled for May

Scranton Times Tribune

By Chris Birk STAFF WRITER 03/29/2005

Slated to begin Monday, the sexual abuse trial of the Rev. Albert M. Liberatore in Manhattan, N.Y., was instead pushed back to early May.

The Diocese of Scranton priest, charged with three felony abuse charges in New York, will now face trial May 4, said Sherry Hunter, a spokeswoman in the Manhattan district attorney's office.

The New York charges -- one count of first-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse -- are the most serious Father Liberatore faces in three separate jurisdictions, all stemming from abuse allegations levied by a University of Scranton student and former altar boy at Sacred Heart of Jesus church in Duryea.

In mid-July, Luzerne County District Attorney David Lupas filed indecent assault, corruption of minors, child endangerment and furnishing liquor to a minor charges against Father Liberatore. Four months later, the alleged victim filed a wide-ranging civil suit against the priest, the diocese and others in U.S. District Court in Scranton.

The New York and Luzerne County charges were both filed July 15.

"We've been in active trial preparation for many, many months, and that will continue," Scranton attorney Larry Moran, who represents Father Liberatore, said last week, aware a continuance was coming.

Posted by kshaw at March 29, 2005 07:41 AM