Priest sentenced to jail for abuse, SNAP calls for legislative action

A priest from Pennsylvania has been sentenced to spend 14 years behind bars for sexually abusing children. We applaud this outcome.

We hope that the sentence handed down to Fr. David L. Poulson will bring some solace to his survivors. We also hope that this case brings hope to other victims who may be suffering in silence and will encourage them to come forward and make a report to police.

Finding justice through the criminal system can often be elusive for victims of sexual violence due to archaic statutes of limitations laws that prevent claims being brought forward. Legislators in Pennsylvania should work to reform these laws and also look to open a civil window that would allow survivors – whose claims are currently barred by the statutes of limitations — to seek justice in the courts. 

State Rep. Mark Rozzi had already brought such a bill forward during the last legislative session. We hope that legislators will better understand the importance of the “Real Deal” bill in this legislative session and move quickly to pass it.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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  • Richard Kensinger, MSW
    commented 2019-01-12 13:25:03 -0600
    I reside in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, PA. I have divorced the Church. I provide free clinical consultation to a # of survivors in my area. Based on my research, incarceration around the the world is extremely rare. Typically, the perpetrators are sentenced to 2.5 ~ 4 years. As a clinician working w/ those who are sexually abused as youth, the incarceration in insufficient considering the lifelong damage done. I have 3 published articles on Brain Blogger in this regard.
    Rich, MSW

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