Diocese: Diocese of Harrisburg
From Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
The following information was obtained from a summary written by Diocesan officials for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and by a man testifying before the Grand Jury on October 18, 2016.
The man came forward in 1994 and reported he had been sexually molested by Father Guy Marsico while at St. Leo the Great. Marsico asked the boy’s parents for permission for the boy to spend the night at the rectory. The boy’s parents knew he wanted to be a priest and granted permission for the boy to stay overnight. The boy went to the rectory to stay overnight. Marsico had boxes on a spare bed. Marsico told the victim he could not remove the boxes and that he had to sleep in the same bed with Marsico. Marsico made the boy undress. Marsico gave the boy full body massages and touched the boy’s penis. Marsico put his mouth on the boy’s penis. The boy stated that Marsico and he slept together in the same bed overnight. The boy also blacked out for a period of time due to fear. The boy was 13 years old at the time.
The boy disclosed that he told his mother about the abuse when he was 14 years old. His mother did not tell anyone. The boy told his father about the abuse when he was 16 years old. His father did not tell anyone.
The boy felt strong enough to report the abuse to the Diocese of Harrisburg. Diocesan officials confronted Marsico. Marsico admitted to sleeping in the same bed with the boy and giving him massages. Marsico stated that he “brushed his penis aside” when massaging the boy’s stomach and pelvic area. Marsico sent the boy a letter of apology.
The Diocese of Harrisburg agreed to pay for prescription medications and counseling for the boy. The boy later found out that his counselor reported what occurred during his counseling for the boy. The boy later found out that his counselor reported what occurred during his counseling to the Diocese. The boy disclosed that he attempted suicide in 1986.
Marsico admitted to being sexually involved with three other minors while at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Leo the Great. Marsico took a leave of absence and resigned from his parish. He went to the Anodos Center for an evaluation.
Diocesan officials wrote a summary, which stated while at treatment Marsico specifically named his victims. As a result of admitting his sexual abuse, the Diocese issued a penal precept in 1995.
In September 1996, another victim came forward and reported abuse by Marsico. The victim was previously identified during Marsico’s admission. The victim was between fifth and sixth grade when molested by Marsico. Marsico fondled the victim, slept in the same bed naked with the victim, and engaged in oral sex and masturbated the victim.
Marsico requested laicization in 2010. Marsico paid for the first victim’s counseling and prescription medication for a period of time.
Marsico testified before the grand jury on November 9, 2016. Marsico explained to the attorney for the Commonwealth that when he was in fifth grade he obtained paperwork to become a priest. At age 14, Marsico went to the Seminary in Columbus, Ohio and stayed there for 12 years. During his testimony, Marsico confessed to molesting children. A relevant excerpt of Marsico’s testimony follows:
“Q: But to be clear, though, while you were engaged in the sexual conduct with these boys, you were admitting the conduct to your confessor, Father Michael Homola?
Q: And he was a parish priest in which parish?
A: He was in various parishes. The last one was St. Philip in Millersville.
Q: And his advice to you certainly was not, you know, call the police and turn yourself in; but it was to essentially pray about it?
A: Pray about it and try to get away from it. Reform your life.
Q: And then you would come back and say, it happened again; and he would say pray about it, reform your life?
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.