July 08, 2005

GCC: Not aware of priest's past

Gloucester County Times

Friday, July 08, 2005
By Matthew Ralph
DEPTFORD TWP. -- When Rev. David Sicoli interviewed for an adjunct professor post at Gloucester County College last year, he never mentioned that he had left a Catholic church he pastored in South Philadelphia in July 2004 amidst allegations of sexual abuse.

Unaware of his background, college officials never asked why he left Holy Spirit Parish and never contacted the Archdiocese of Philadelphia seeking a reference.

Three men from Bucks County, Pa., sued the priest and the Philadelphia Archdiocese last year alleging Sicoli molested them and supplied them with alcohol at his Sea Isle City beach house and at a location in Wildwood between 1979 and 1983. The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that the state's two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits prohibited the victims from filing suit, but the victims' attorney Jay Abramowitch is appealing the ruling.

"We did a criminal background check and it came up negative," said Dominick Burzichelli, vice president of human resources at GCC. "Because this was just an allegation and a civil suit, this wouldn't have come up anywhere."

Burzichelli learned of the allegations against Sicoli Tuesday when contacted by a reporter from the Bucks County Courier-Times. Sicoli taught an ethics class in the spring and was "penciled-in" to teach again this fall.

Posted by kshaw at July 8, 2005 05:47 AM