July 21, 2005

Cleveland bishop is subject of perjury accusations, protest

Plain Dealer

Thursday, July 21, 2005
James F. McCarty
Plain Dealer Reporter

Critics from separate priest sexual-abuse cases launched independent attacks on Bishop Anthony Pilla Wednesday.

In the morning, attorney William Crosby, who questioned the bishop for six hours Tuesday for a defamation lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Cleveland, wrote to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason asking him to investigate Pilla for possible perjury charges.

Later, three women from Ak ron stood on the steps of St. John Cathe dral and ac cused Pilla of breaking his promises to them and of covering up for a former priest who they claim raped them in the mid-1960s.

The women's lawyer, Jeff Anderson of St. Paul, Minn., said it was a coincidence that their announcement came on the same day as Crosby's request for a criminal investigation of the bishop. He said the women have accused John Jacoby, a former religion teacher at St. Mary High School, of rape.

Jacoby, 77, is married and lives in St. Petersburg, Fla. He left the diocese and the priesthood in 1982. He was never charged with a crime. He could not be reached for comment.

Posted by kshaw at July 21, 2005 06:33 AM