Catholic Priest

Daniel Martin

Ordained: 1943
Diocese: Diocese of Erie

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

Monsignor Daniel Martin was a priest the in the Diocese of Erie for 43-three years who faced two known allegations of sexual abuse. The Grand Jury’s review of his files found very little documented evidence of his abuse of a teenager who was an alter server in his parish. That victim would go on to become a priest himself and appeared in front of the Grand Jury to tell his story. Martin’s second victim was a Seminarian who named Martin, along with Bishop Trautman and Fathers Salvatore Luzzi, Leon Muroski and Thomas Kelley, in a civil suit that was settled by the Diocese for $34,500 on October 3, 1995. This Victim (Victim #2) claimed to have been sexually harassed and assaulted by the priests named in his suit.

Victim #2’s abuse occurred at St. Mark’s Seminary in Erie, amidst what he described as a ‘culture of sexuality’ among the priests. He reported to the Diocese that the priests in the seminary have a ‘fierce competition’ among themselves to sexually prey upon kids who had absentee fathers or children who had poor relationships with their fathers. Victim #2 explained that in the Seminary, the priests who acted as spiritual advisors to the seminarians would engage them in sexual misconduct. He reported that one of his spiritual counsellors, Gene Humenay, was upset when he learned that this type of sexual behavior was going on in the seminary, but Humenay did nothing to stop the abuse. Victim #2 believed the Diocese knew that the priests were sexually abusing the seminarians but did nothing about it. In his lawsuit, he named Bishop Donald Trautman, not as an abuser but as an enabler.

Gene Humenay was subpoenaed into the Grand Jury to answer question regarding his knowledge of clergy sex assault. He had left the priesthood in 1987 to get married.

One of Victim #2’s demands of the Diocese when he sued was to have all the priests named in his suit removed from ministry and given professional counselling. The Diocesan records did not specify if Martin was sent for treatment, but it was acknowledged in a letter to Victim #2 from the Diocese that Martin was seen at St. Luke’s Institute in September 1995. This information cannot be corroborated by the documents provided to the Grand Jury.

This investigation found a document dated July 24, 1994 and labeled “confidential memorandum for the file, RE: Daniel Martin.” It documents the interaction between Bishop Trautman, Victim #2, and Daniel Martin. It records Trautman confronting Martin about the allegations of the sexual abuse of Victim #2. In it, Trautman wrote that Martin offered to donate $3,500 towards Victim #2 receiving proper therapy. Martin also apologized to Trautman for the incident. Trautman accepted Martin’s check and forwarded it on to Victim #2.

The first aforementioned accusation of sexual abuse against Martin was much less well- documented in the Diocese records and only came to light via the cooperation of another victim. Victim #1 contacted the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Catholic Church Hotline to report his story. Victim #1 is also an ordained Catholic priest and has served the Diocese of Erie for many years. He was subpoenaed into the Grand Jury to tell his story. Victim #1 testified that Martin was his parish pastor and a role model for him because he had a dysfunctional family and he felt isolated from his friends. He explained that he felt the church and Martin became his ‘surrogate family’. This gave him access to all parts of the rectory. Victim #1 reported that when he would be upset over the troubles of his life, he would seek Martin’s counsel. It is in these moments of weakness and vulnerability that predators look to exploit their victims, and Martin was no different. Victim #1 testified that Martin sexually fondled him on at least sixteen occasions between the ages of sixteen and nineteen. Victim #1 reported to this investigation that Martin abused him three times at St. George, eight times at Mt. Calvary and five times at Mercyhurst College.

Victim #1 testified that Martin was friends with several other priests that were known pedophiles. He said that on a number of occasions, Martin’s friend, Father Gary Ketcham (see Father. Gary Ketcham narrative), invited him to play racquetball or took him to nice dinners. When he did play racquetball with Ketcham, he would always be instructed to bring a towel because Ketcham would insist on taking a shower with Victim #1 and the other boys he took to the racquetball court. Another known pedophile priest with whom Martin would often associate was Father Robert Hannon (see Rev. Robert Hannon narrative). Victim #1 testified that Hannon retired early and relocated to Hawaii. Victim #1 reported that Hannon retired early due to inappropriate behavior with children and he would often return to the Erie area to visit with Martin. Victim #1 told the Grand Jury that Hannon’s way of befriending the altar boys was to hand out cash. Victim #1 testified that he personally experienced Hannon handing out money. He said Hannon would call it “green” and give it to any boy working the rectory. He added that Hannon and Martin were old friends from when they both worked in Oil City.

Victim #1 went on to report that from his personal experience he did not see the problems in the Catholic Church to be one of clergy sex abuse or an issue of gay men. He testified that the real issue is that of power and the ability to force your will over those under you. He informed this investigation that he believes that the Diocese knew full well what Martin was and that he had been preying upon Victim #1 for some time. He said the rumors of his abuse at the hands of Martin were openly talked about with his spiritual advisors while he was in the seminary in 1989-1990.

A review of the subpoenaed files supplied to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General found little to no mention of Martin’s molestation of Victim #1 What can be determined is that approximately the same time Victim #1 was in seminary openly decrying Martin’s conduct, the Diocese had Martin assigned to Mercyhurst College. The Diocese would later restrict Martin’s ministry at the college to dealings only with the Catholic nuns at the school.

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.