For the first time, the Diocese of Erie has added a woman to its list of those credibly accused of actions that it says disqualified them from working with children.

Sister Mary Carmel Skeabeck, (Charlotte Skeabeck), was a Sister of Saint Joseph since 1942. She died in 2015. She is among five new names, which includes three laypersons who are all living and a deceased priest.

Four new names - two priests (one living, one deceased), one former priest (living) and one layperson (deceased) — have also been listed as under investigation.

The name of Monsignor Joseph Reszkowski, deceased, was moved from under investigation to among those credibly accused.

Father David Poulson, who pleaded guilty to corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children Oct. 27, also has been moved to the list of those with credible allegations.

New names

Living Credibly Accused
1. Ronald Keith Allison — Erie, Pennsylvania

Former lay teacher
2. Lewis A. Kocher — Springfield, Ohio Former choir director
3. James E. Herzing — St. Marys, Pennsylvania
Former lay teacher
4. Fr. David Poulson — Oil City, Pennsylvania Forbidden to function as a priest; awaiting sentencing

Deceased Credibly Accused
1. Fr. Patrick J. Healy - Was able to function (abuse reported after his death)
2. Msgr. Joseph V. Reszkowski - Was able to function (abuse reported after his death)
3. Sr. Mary Carmel Skeabeck, SSJ (Charlotte Skeabeck) Former teacher

Under Investigation
1. Msgr. H. Desmond McGee — retired, DuBois, Pennsylvania
2. Fr. Robert A. Pudlo (failure to act on credible reports) — deceased
3. Frank J. Mariella, Sr. – deceased
4. Former Fr. Thomas M. Lechner –laicized, Sewickley, Pennsylvania

The list now includes a total of 49 priests and 26 laypeople.

More names

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania has issued a statement on the inclusion of former teacher Sr. Mary Carmel Skeabeck, SSJ (Charlotte Skeabeck) on the Diocese's list of the credibly accused.

First and foremost, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania acknowledge and apologize for abuse that occurred within our religious community.  We are filled with deep sorrow that such horror and pain was ever inflicted, and it is unconscionable for a member of our religious community to have been inflicting pain rather than healing.  Our hearts and prayers go out to all victims and survivors of sexual abuse, especially the survivor whose courageous report has brought us to this moment.  We hear you, believe you, and want to put an end to child abuse forever.

Upon receipt of an abuse report in May 2018, we retained the Pittsburgh-based law firm of K&L Gates LLP to conduct an independent investigation, giving it unrestricted access to our files and personnel and instructing it to follow the evidence, wherever it may lead.  K&L Gates collected and analyzed numerous documents, conducted multiple interviews, and performed an unbiased evaluation of all evidence developed by its process.  Ultimately, K&L Gates determined that Charlotte Skeabeck, otherwise known as Sister Mary Carmel Skeabeck, SSJ, sexually abused a student on numerous occasions in the late 1950s while teaching at Villa Maria Academy in Erie, Pennsylvania.

We referred this sister’s name for publication on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie’s public disclosure list to both recognize the harm caused and to encourage other individuals with any knowledge of this case (or other cases) to come forward.  Her date of death, photograph, and assignment history are provided to further aid these efforts.  Many historical records are sparse or non-existent, so we ask anyone who has previously reported abuse (particularly, pre-2002) or witnessed misconduct by a member of our congregation to report today.

We understand that no apology, investigation, or counseling will ever undo what has happened.  We humbly offer our sincere efforts to fully cooperate with law enforcement, shine light on past misconduct, aid in healing, and take steps to ensure that today’s children do not have to endure any abuse now or in the future.

Skeabeck's ministry assignments


St. Agatha School, Meadville, PA


St. Joseph Home for Children, Erie, PA


Holy Rosary School, Erie, PA


St. Leo School, Ridgway, PA


Cathedral Grade School, Erie, PA


St. Agatha High School, Meadville, PA


St. Bernard High School, Bradford, PA


St. Leo High School, Ridgway, PA


Villa Maria Academy, Erie, PA


St. Agatha High School, Meadville, PA


Elk County Christian High School, St. Mary’s, PA


Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse, Erie, PA


Elk County Christian High School, St. Marys, PA


St. Joseph School, Erie, PA


Villa Maria College, Erie, PA


Saint Vincent Health Center


Vila Maria Academy, Erie, PA