Jefferson County Priest Placed on Leave Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations

| May 19, 2019

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. – A Jefferson County priest accused of sexually abusing a minor has been placed on administrative leave.

According to a release issued Saturday by the Diocese of Erie, an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Msgr. Charles Kaza, pastor of St. Tobias Parish, Brockway, and president of DuBois Central Catholic School Board, was forwarded to the Diocese and its independent investigators at the K&L Gates law firm by the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General.

As a result of this referral, K&L Gates has conducted a preliminary investigation. The Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, bishop of Erie, has placed Msgr. Kaza on administrative leave, restricting him from active ministry, effective May 13, while further investigation is underway.

“Msgr. Kaza is cooperating with the investigation and is presumed innocent unless proven guilty,” said Anne-Marie Welsh, Erie Diocese Director of Communications, in the release.

During the investigation, Msgr. Kaza will not be in residence at St. Tobias Parish; he will be living at a private home with family.

The abuse is alleged to have taken place while Msgr. Kaza was serving at St. John the Baptist Parish, Erie, in the 1980s.

“In accordance with its Policy for the Protection of Children, the diocese will cooperate fully with Pennsylvania’s Attorney General and Erie County’s District Attorney,” said Welsh in the release.

K&L Gates will also continue to conduct its investigation, according to the release.

If anyone has any information related to this case, please contact the Pennsylvania Attorney General at 1-888-538-8541 and K&L Gates at

Bishop Persico has named Father Leo Gallina as temporary administrator of St. Tobias Parish, effective May 20. Father Gallina will be in residence at the parish beginning May 28.

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