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Lawsuit Against Catholic Diocese Of Pittsburgh Accuses Priest Of Sexual Abuse

By: KDKA-TV News

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - A lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh alleging that a man was sexually assaulted and raped by a priest when he was an altar boy.

The victim accuses Father Leo Burchianti of attacking and raping him twice.

"It's taken him a long time to recognize he did nothing wrong," said attorney Richard Serbin.

Burchianti was a priest named in the state's grand jury report into sexual abuse in Pennsylvania dioceses. 

The grand jury report alleges Burchianti had inappropriate relationships with at least eight boys and appeared to have been evaluated and treated at facilities for "inappropriate relationships with male minors" on multiple occasions.

According to the complaint, the victim was 13 years old when he came to Pittsburgh. He became an altar boy and frequently volunteered to help with chores at the Immaculate Conception Parish.

The lawsuit also names the Immaculate Conception Parish, Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Bishop David Zubik. The diocese and its bishops are accused of knowing about the sexual abuse "of countless" children and hiding it. They're also accused of knowing Burchianti "was a pedophile."

"This is a sick individual that did this," Serbin said. "But even worse were the bishops and leaders of the diocese that continued to reassign this priest."

According to the grand jury report, Burchianti died in 2013.

"How many others are there? Most victims or survivors of abuse don't come forward," the attorney said.

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