Catholic Priest

Richard J. Guiliani

Ordained: 1968
Diocese: Diocese of Allentown

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

In October 2003, a victim wrote to Bishop Edward Cullen stating that she had been sexually abused by Father Richard Guiliani.  The victim was abused from the time she was fourteen through age eighteen, between the years 1971 and 1975. Guiliani befriended the victim and her family at a time when the victim was having difficulties with her family. Guiliani began with hugging and kissing the victim and increased with fondling the victim’s genitals through her clothing.  Guiliani simulated sex with the victim through the victim’s clothing.  Guiliani fondled the victim’s genitals and buttocks and forced the victim to fondle his genitals.  Guiliani made the victim masturbate him and forcibly masturbated and digitally penetrated the victim. Guiliani simulated anal sex on the victim and forced the victim to perform oral sex on him. The abuse occurred at the victim’s high school, Norte Dame High School in Easton, at the victim’s home, at Guiliani’s sister’s home, or in Guiliani’s car. The victim remembers Guiliani was often drinking heavily when the abuse occurred. The victim recalled Guiliani telling her that he would protect her, that she could trust him, and that she should keep coming to him for help.  Guiliani told the victim she deserved to be “cared for” and “loved.”

The victim recalled the last time she had contact with Guiliani was when she was a freshman in college. Guiliani visited the victim and brought her an eighteenth birthday present. Guiliani wanted to have sex with the victim and asked her to marry him. The victim refused to have further sexual involvement with Guiliani and declined his marriage proposal.  Guiliani never contacted the victim again.

The victim reported that two other priests at her high school knew about Guiliani’s sexual abuse of her.  The two other priests were Father Leo Houseknecht and Father William Jones, who were friends of Guiliani.  Additionally, Jones would be verbally crude in school towards the victim and Houseknecht was physically affectionate to the victim, hugging her and rubbing his erect penis against her while at school or while visiting her at her home.

The victim reported the sexual abuse when she was twenty years old and in college. She spoke to Father Hubert J. Kealy of the Newman House on the campus of Millersville State College and told him of the abuse by Guiliani. During this same time, the victim also told Father Steven Maco, a family friend, about the abuse. Both priests failed to act and were “unresponsive and in denial” about what the victim told them.

The Diocese did not report the abuse to the Northampton County District Attorney’s Office until January 2011, over seven years after they were first notified of the abuse.

In May 2004, a second victim came forward to report abuse by Guiliani.  The second victim was sixteen years old and a student at Cardinal Brennan High School in Ashland, Schuylkill County, where Guiliani was the principal. In December 1976, as the victim was doing her homework in the gymnasium of Cardinal Brennan, Guiliani approached and asked second victim to accompany him to Boscov’s Department Store in Pottsville to assist him in buying Christmas presents for his nieces and nephews.  The second victim held Guiliani in a position of trust and went with him to shop.  During the ride back in the car, Guiliani asked the second victim to get something out of the back seat.  When the second victim did so, Guiliani reached under the second victim’s dress and squeezed and fondled her vagina and buttocks.  Guiliani abused his position of power and trust as a priest and principal to take advantage of the second victim’s sexual naiveté.

In January 2011, over seven years after learning of the abuse, the Diocese reported the abuse of the second victim to the Schuylkill County District Attorney’s Office.

Records reflect that Guiliani left the ministry in 1977 and his whereabouts are unknown. Houseknecht was deceased at the time victim number one reported the abuse and Jones had been “removed” from ministry.

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.