Priest Pleads Guilty To Corruption Charge

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SCRANTON -- A priest accused of abusing a teenager in Lackawanna County has pleaded guilty.

According to police, the Rev. Jeffery Paulish was caught in a sex act with a 15-year-old boy in a parked car in Dunmore in September of 2013.

He struck a plea deal with prosecutors who accepted him admitting to corrupting the morals of a minor

The Rev. Jeffery Paulish of the Diocese of Scranton admitted he met up with the teen for sex last year and had said he intended to plead guilty to child sex crimes. That plea deal became official Wednesday morning with Paulish pleading guilty to one felony count of corruption of minors.

Paulish attempted to hide his face and kept his eyes on his phone when he left the Lackawanna County probation office in downtown Scranton.

“No comment,” he said.

Paulish had just pleaded guilty before a judge. Attorneys came to a deal: Paulish pleaded to one count of felony corruption of minors and other more serious sex charges were dropped.

In September, investigators say Paulish was caught in the act meeting up with a 15-year-old for sex on the Penn State Worthington Scranton campus in Dunmore.

Paulish eventually admitted he met the boy online but thought the boy was of age.

“He understands that based off of his position and you know, the recent cases, that it doesn't look that good. But, he understands that he made a mistake and he just wants to put this behind him so he can live his life,” said Paulish’s attorney Bernie Brown.

The priest's attorney says he expects Paulish will face prison time when he's sentenced later on this year and he will likely lose his priestly duties permanently.

Paulish served in many parishes in our area and was an assistant pastor at Prince of Peace parish in Old Forge at the time of his arrest.

“I think it's an important step for both the family and the community to see that he is going to take responsibility for his actions,” said Lackawanna County A.D.A. Jennifer McCambridge.

Officials with the Diocese of Scranton say since Paulish's guilty plea he remains suspended from ministry.

Paulish will be sentenced in the next few months. He could get up to seven years in prison and may have to register as a sex offender.


  • b

    Another plea bargain. Judges are the problem with this country. If they did their job properly, people would think twice.

  • angie

    Sorry to be the one to tell you this but sex crimes against children is not exclusive to the Catholic Church. Its a known fact these perverts choose professions that put them in close contact with their “prey” I.e teachers, religious leaders, scout leaders, coaches etc. Just so happens the Catholic Church has a spotlight on it right now.

    • jellystoneranger

      Angie , we all know that this isn’t exclusive to Catholic priests . This story is about a Catholic priest not a teacher or counselor or Boy Scout leader. Wait until next week for those stories to surface . Are you the local apologist for the Church ? You must still think Paterno was not culpable in the Sandusky scandal ? I bet you can hardly wait to write your check for the Bishops annual appeal !

  • Jeff

    Amazing in this day and age people still follow blindly and believe in all this BS, If you let your child alone with a Priest you need your head examined.

  • jellystoneranger

    They will be passing the basket three times this Sunday . Once for the heat and lights, once for a new Caddilac for the Bishop and now for the start of the next payoff to the victim. All’s well in the Catholic church! This is why I haven’t stepped inside a Catholic church in 20 years. Hypocrites all!

  • Bob

    The Catholic religion should be abolished. This is not a rare occurrence. It is becoming the norm. How can a so called representative of this religion do such a despicable thing. Just think of how these young boys innocence has been stripped of them. These so called men of God are just sexually frustrated men who pick on the innocent children because they feel they can control them with their authority. If this religion does not change their criteria and let normal men to marry and serve their God then it should be abolished. I guess the higher ups think that its better to ruin the innocence of little children than to change their stupid rule. Shame on all of you. Open your eyes!

  • Sundown

    Pedophiles come I all shapes, sizes, genders, faiths, and creeds. the right thing to do f you are supposed to be a representative of God and the church is NOT to engage in illegal and immoral acts as stated by said faith. The church’s authority does not override God’s authority! Unless you’re a satanic priest, then well, anything goes right?

  • Mike

    Most priests are homosexual. What do you think it going to happen? Sex with a woman is forbidden in the priesthood. It’s not forbidden with a man.

      • Mike

        It usually comes with the territory. Most priests are diddlers. You must not have been paying attention to the news the last 15 years.

Comments are closed.