Catholic Priest

Albert M. Libertore, Jr.

Diocese: Diocese of Scranton

From Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

On November 27, 1996, Father Joseph Bambera sent a memorandum to Bishop James C. Timlin expressing his concern about a close relationship between Father Albert M. Liberatore, Jr. and a young adult male.  He wrote that he perceived it to be a potentially problematic situation.  He stated that Liberatore knew the young male was not old enough to drink in Pennsylvania so therefore he took him to New York to consume alcohol.  They spent the night there.  Timlin wrote on the memorandum, “Confidential – no action taken.”

In  March,  1997,  a  note  was  written  that  contained a summary of  concerns  about Liberatore.

One concern was about inappropriate behavior by Liberatore in February, 1997 when 20 young men from Bishop Hoban High School toured St. Pius X Seminary.  As they walked by a room with the door ajar, Liberatore was observed lying on the bed being given a back rub by a seminarian. Timlin noted on the summary, “Strictly Confidential, spoke to Father Liberatore about all of this.  Matter was resolved.”

On December 16, 2002, Timlin received a letter from The American College in Louvain, Belgium.  It was reported that while Liberatore was visiting there, a seminarian observed Liberatore taking a young man in his teens or early twenties into his bedroom.  Liberatore was visibly inebriated.

On December 30, 2002, Bishop Dougherty and Timlin met with Liberatore. He admitted to the activity described in the letter but assured them that the person was out of college. It was agreed that Liberatore would go for an evaluation in January 2003.

On January 3, 2004, the Diocese received a complaint that Liberatore had sexually abused two young men. The allegations were determined to be credible and they were reported to law enforcement.

On July 15, 2004, Liberatore was arrested by the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office. He was charged with indecent assault, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of children and furnishing alcohol to a minor in connection with the sexual abuse of an altar boy between May, 1999 and May, 2004.  Liberatore was also arrested by the New York City Police for a felony for a sexual assault on the same minor.  Liberatore pled guilty in both cases.

A civil action was also filed regarding this abuse and a settlement was reached in the amount of $3 million.

Additional information regarding the widespread sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Dioceses of Pennsylvania and the systemic cover up by senior church officials is compiled in the Pennsylvania Diocese Victim’s Report published by the Pennsylvania Attorney General following a two-year grand jury investigation.  A complete copy of the Report is available on the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website.