May 19, 2005

Reverend avoids jail in abuse case

Times Leader


WILKES-BARRE – The Rev. Albert Liberatore avoided prison and becoming a Megan’s Law offender despite pleading guilty to fondling a teenage altar boy.

The 41-year-old Liberatore on Wednesday admitted to giving the boy alcohol and molesting him during overnight stays at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church rectory in Duryea from 1999 to 2004.

The plea led to Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Conahan sentencing Liberatore, of Scranton, to five years probation.

Liberatore still faces more serious charges of sodomy and sexual abuse in New York City. His next court date in that case, which involves the same boy, is scheduled for June 15 in Manhattan.

Liberatore, who was charged last year, met the teen through a youth group in 1999. The boy was 13 at the time.

Local investigators have said Liberatore showered the teen with gifts, such as money and a computer, and pleaded with the teen to break up with his girlfriend and “give in to his gay feelings.”

Posted by kshaw at May 19, 2005 04:07 AM