Vatican Defrocks University Of Scranton Priest

Associated Press/July 28, 2006

Scranton, Pennsylvania -- The Vatican has defrocked a former priest and University of Scranton instructor who admitted to charges of attempted sexual abuse and indecent assault involving a former altar boy.

The Diocese of Scranton says the dismissal means Albert Liberatore cannot function as a priest, hold parochial or administrative office in the church or teach theology in a Catholic institution.

Liberatore pleaded guilty in June to attempted sexual abuse in New York. He admitted groping a 17-year-old during an overnight trip to a New York City hotel.

Eight days earlier, Liberatore had admitted in court he had sexually assaulted the same young man in Luzerne County beginning in 1999. He was sentenced to 10 years probation in New York and had to register as a sex offender.

He received 10 years probation in Luzerne County and was ordered to avoid school grounds and other facilities frequented by minors.

A civil suit filed by the now college-age victim and his family is pending in federal District Court.

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