Priest accused of molestation defrocked

February 15, 2008 4:25:58 AM PST
A Roman Catholic priest who was moved from church to church over two decades and accused of molesting nearly a dozen boys has been defrocked, archdiocese officials announced Thursday. David C. Sicoli, 60, had his ministry restricted in 2004, when the allegations first surfaced. He now has been removed from the clerical state, meaning he may no longer perform any function as a priest anywhere.

Sicoli, who began his priesthood in 1975, was among priests named as abusive in a 2005 Philadelphia grand jury report on sexual abuse in the church.

The grand jury said other priests repeatedly reported that Sicoli had unhealthy relationships with boys. Four victims from Levittown, where Sicoli was assigned from 1978 to 1983, testified that he had plied them with alcohol and then sexually abused them when they were 12 to 16 years old, according to the report.

An archdiocese review board looked into allegations of abuse by Sicoli after the nationwide church sex-abuse scandal broke. The board found "multiple substantiated allegations involving a total of 11 minors" between 1977 and 2002, the grand jury said.

Sicoli was last known to be living in Philadelphia, but it is unclear where he lives now.

Between May 1975 to July 2004, Sicoli spent time at parishes in Philadelphia, Ambler, Levittown and Yeadon. He also served in archdiocese administrative positions.