Former Cardinal Bevilacqua named in new clergy abuse lawsuit against Pittsburgh diocese
PITTSBURGH — A California woman claims that Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua groped her when he was a bishop and she was a student at a Pittsburgh-area elementary school in the 1980s.
Heather L. Taylor of San Diego named Bevilacqua and two other priests in a lawsuit filed Friday against the Diocese of Pittsburgh, accusing current or former church officials of fraud and conspiracy by covering up the alleged misconduct.
Though the late Philadelphia archbishop has long been accused of complicity in concealing sex abuse by diocesan priests, Taylor's claim marks the first time anyone has publicly asserted that he sexually abused a child.
The complaints, and two similar lawsuits concerning allegedly abusive priests, were filed in Allegheny County Court by Pittsburgh attorney Alan Perer. They come on the heels of last month's scathing report by a statewide grand jury that accused the diocese and five others of concealing decades of clergy sex abuse.