Man claims deacon abused him

YOUNGSTOWN – A city man who said he was abused close to 30 years ago by a teacher / deacon while he was a student at St. Christine’s school joined an advocacy group that confronted Youngstown Diocese officials about the matter on Wednesday.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests announced plans to hand-deliver a letter to Bishop George Murry asking him to suspend the deacon, who SNAP claimed is still part of the diocese.

SNAP official Judy Jones said Jerry Arnal was abused by a teacher repeatedly during the mid-to-late 1970s. According to SNAP, Arnal reported the alleged abuse to Sister Jane Marie Kudlacsz, the principal, in 1987.

SNAP claims Murry told Arnal in 2011 that he hired a private investigator, who found no evidence of molestation.

In response, the diocese issued a statement saying that the deacon accused is no longer working in the diocese “in any capacity.” Also, the diocese followed its policy and procedures, and reported the allegation to Mahoning County Children’s Services, the statement reads.

SNAP officials have not named the deacon they claim abused Arnal. The group also says it has received an anonymous letter claiming the same deacon had sex with a female student at Cardinal Mooney.

The Diocese statement continued: “It should also be noted that the accusation was fully investigated, and even though it could not be substantiated, the Diocese of Youngstown has responded pastorally and provided assistance to the accuser. The accuser sent a thank you to the Diocese for their ‘concern and attention.'”

Arnal said he saw the deacon’s name on Mooney’s staff roster list until Tuesday, when it was removed.

Diocese officials stated Arnal “is poorly informed.”