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Former Fryburg Priest to Be Sentenced in Sexual Abuse Case Today
BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – A former Fryburg priest who pleaded guilty to felony crimes in connection with repeated sexual assaults against one boy and the attempted assault of another boy is scheduled to be sentenced today.
According to court documents, 65-year-old David Lee Poulson, of Oil City, is scheduled to stand in front of Jefferson County Judge John H. Foradora for sentencing at 1:15 p.m. on Friday, January 11, at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Brookville, Pa.
Poulson pleaded guilty to corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children, both third-degree felonies, in a hearing in Jefferson County Common Pleas Court on October 17, 2018.
He was arrested and charged in May of 2018 by the Office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Poulson was one of several clergymen accused following a Statewide Investigating Grand Jury probing widespread sexual abuse by clergy against children in six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, including the Diocese of Erie.
The victims were eight and 15 years old at the time of the acts committed against them.
According to the grand jury’s presentment:
- Poulson sexually assaulted one victim repeatedly in church rectories at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Fryburg and Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Cambridge Springs. The abuse at the rectories usually happened on Sundays – after the victim served as an altar boy at Mass. These assaults took place more than 20 times.
- Poulson required this victim to make confession to the sexual assaults – to Poulson, who heard the boy’s confession.
- Poulson also assaulted this victim and attempted to assault a second victim at a remote hunting cabin that he owned with a friend in Jefferson County. In an effort to assault them, Poulson would bring the youths to the cabin and watch horror movies with them on his laptop.
Poulson served as a priest at St. Michael’s Church in Fryburg, Clarion County, for several years between the late 1990s and 2013.
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