Poulson’s sentencing date set

From staff reports

Former Roman Catholic priest David Lee Poulson will learn his fate on Jan. 11.

Poulson, a former Oil City resident who had served as a priest in Fryburg, had entered a guilty plea to charges of corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children in October and will be sentenced by Jefferson County Judge John H. Foradora in Brookville. Both of the charges are felonies of the third degree.

In his plea agreement, Poulson was informed he could face a maximum sentence of 14 years and a fine of $30,000. The plea agreement also notes the court is not bound by the plea agreement.

Poulson also agreed to voluntarily request to be removed from the priesthood. The state may file additional charges if warranted.

The charges stemmed from a document supplied by the Diocese of Erie to the Pennsylvania Grand Jury.

The memorandum recounted a telephone conversation between Father Chris Singer and Father Raymond Akeiwe, a chaplain at Fort Hood in Texas. Akeiwe said a soldier at the fort had disclosed Poulson had sexually abused him when he was a child.

The Diocese of Erie interviewed Poulson and learned he owned a cabin with a partner. Poulson told the Diocesan counsel that he had not been to the property since he left Fryburg in Clarion County to begin his assignment in Cambridge Springs in Crawford County.

According to the criminal complaint, the first victim told police that Poulson began to abuse him when the victim was about 8 years old and that the abuse continued on a bi-weekly basis from 2002 to 2010.

The criminal complaint said Poulson made the victim go to confession and confess the sexual abuse to Poulson in his capacity as a priest. The assaults took place at the rectory of St. Michael’s In Fryburg, at St. Anthony’s in Cambridge Springs and at his camp, the criminal complaint said.

A second victim said Poulson abused him between 2003 and 2006 when he was 15 to 18 years of age.

The Grand Jury also heard from nine other individuals who said they had contact with Poulson when they were minors.