Law officers, clergy forged ties stymieing prosecutions

Law officers, clergy forged ties stymieing prosecutions

by Caitlin McCabe and Maria Panaritis, March 6, 2016, Philly.com

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - In January, a deputy attorney general and two agents walked into a judge's chambers here with questions. They wanted to discuss a meeting decades earlier that had ended with a "monster" priest being allowed to go free.

Back in 1985, Cambria County Judge Patrick T. Kiniry had been a local prosecutor, and met with Bishop James Hogan to discuss a priest suspected of sexually abusing children. As leader of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, the bishop had outsize influence in the area. Kiniry, a former altar boy, had been excited to meet him.

Hogan didn't dispute the claims about the Rev. Francis McCaa that day.

But nothing happened.

McCaa, suspected of abusing at least 15 boys, some as young as 8, lived another two decades without ever being charged.

"You have to understand: This is an extremely Catholic county," Kiniry allegedly explained this year when Deputy Attorney General Daniel J. Dye and two agents came to talk to him about the case.

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