After a man accused Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik of molesting him over two decades ago, the prelate immediately took to the airwaves yesterday (Wed., 10/5/11) to declare his innocence.
Addressing a flock of cameras and reporters, Bishop Zubik announced:
"Take a look at this collar. I've been putting this collar on every day for the past 40 years. In the name of my brother priests, I want to say this collar is not a bull's-eye."
"The accusation is false, offensive and outrageous," the bishop added. (See WTAE Philadelphia video.)
Indeed, law enforcement has now concluded that the accuser's claims are completely bogus. Beaver County District Attorney Anthony J. Berosh told the Associated Press, "There was no factual basis for the allegation. No basis in law or in fact."
Berosh also added:
"I can assure you, based on 30 years of experience, I have never heard of a more convoluted, extenuated series of stories in order to justify the recollection of the now-made allegations against the bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh."
Truly, several facts surrounding the charges against the bishop lead any clear-thinking individual to conclude that this is a false accusation:
- The accuser came forward with his claim only after he recently failed a background check to volunteer at his parish.
- The man has a lengthy criminal record. [WARNING: Adult content alert.] The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has reported: "[I]n 2004  the Aliquippa man pleaded guilty to indecent exposure. He faced other charges in the early 1990s including disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and theft. In the 2004 case, New Sewickley police said they caught him masturbating in his car parked outside Freedom Middle School." (Hence the failed background check.)
- The accuser rebuffed "numerous attempts" by the District Attorney's Office to discuss the accusation.
- Yet after he declined to talk, the man "visited the District Attorney's Office unannounced last week and made a new claim that a nun had touched him on an airplane, in full view of the passengers." (Uh-huh.)
- The man has accused two other priests of childhood abuse before. (The priests that he accused were already dismissed decades ago.)
- The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review also reported that the man has said "that he suddenly remembered the incident [of alleged abuse by Bishop Zubik] when he smelled the bishop's aftershave during a meeting with him on June 1 to discuss other abuse accusations he made against [the] two former priests."
- After being rejected as a parish volunteer, the man reportedly told people that he was going to "bring down somebody pretty high up."
Quite notably, D.A. Boresh also announced:
"The allegation was brought to our attention not by the alleged victim in this case, but by the diocese of Pittsburgh itself. I believe that says a lot about the integrity of the (zero-tolerance) system that has been set up over a period of years between the district attorney's office of the various counties and the diocese of Pittsburgh."
(Final note: At least two different Pittsburgh television stations led their newscasts with this story.)