Fr. John Hoehl – Diocese of Pittsburgh

| Dec 16, 2018 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father John Hoehl

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Ordained: 1963

Assigned as Follows:

  • 1964: St. Mary Magdalene (Homestead, PA)
  • 1966: St. Francis Xavier (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • 1971: Quigley Catholic High School (Baden, PA)
  • 1985: Bishop Boyle High School (Homestead, PA)
  • 1985: St. John Joachim (Greenfield, PA)
  • 1986: Secretariat for Education (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • 1987: Shadyside Hospital (Pittsburgh, PA)

Summary of Allegations Against Father John “Jack” Hoehl:

Father John “Jack” Hoehl was ordained a priest in 1963, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, records belonging to the Diocese of Pittsburgh reveal several allegations against Father Hoehl involving sexual abuse, drugs, and alcohol. The first victim came forward in 1986. He explained that he and Hoehl engaged in genital fondling, oral sex, and mutual masturbation between 1972, when he was a 14-year-old at Quigley Catholic High School, and 1979, when he was in college. After these accusations were made, the Diocese of Pittsburgh found out that a young man was living with Father John Hoehl at St. Joachim. They found drug paraphernalia, pornographic stories and videos, and condoms in the rectory where he was staying.

In the same year, Hoehl was removed from his positions as pastor and headmaster at St. Joachim and Bishop Boyle High School, respectively. He was sent away for treatment at Southdown, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests in Toronto, for six months. While there, he admitted to sexually abusing multiple high school-aged boys while he was headmaster at Quigley. Based upon his admissions and other factors, his treatment team diagnosed him as a pedophile.

When he returned to ministry shortly thereafter, the Bishop of Pittsburgh appointed Hoehl to the Diocese Office of Education.

In 1987, Hoehl was appointed chaplain at Shadyside Hospital until he was removed from ministry and voluntarily resigned in 1988. His priestly faculties were suddenly suspended indefinitely, though it is not clear from the grand jury report what prompted this move.

After his removal, there were many victims that came forward against Hoehl. In 1993, a man said that he was sodomized, given oral sex, and mutually masturbated with Father Hoehl in 1978 when he was 15 years old. Another man contacted the Diocese in 1997 to report that he had had his genitals fondled and had oral sex performed on him by Hoehl from ages 9 to 26, starting in 1976. He noted that there were other boys who stayed with Hoehl and experienced similar abuse. Another victim reported Hoehl in 2002, saying he was sexually abused by Hoehl in 1979 when he was 16. He added that Father Hoehl gave him drugs and alcohol, as well. Also in 2002, several other victims told WTAE Channel 4 about their abuse at the hands of Father John Hoehl during their time at Quigley.

In 2004, a man told the Diocese that, in 1978 when he was 16, he and another boy found Father Hoehl preparing to rape a girl in his office. The boys helped her find her clothes and get out, but Hoehl said that if she left, they had to stay and take her place. They agreed. The girl was permitted to leave and Hoehl anally raped both boys.

Another report from 2004 showed that Hoehl had abused yet another victim from 1980 to 1984. This victim was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Eight more accusations were made against Father John Hoehl, involving genital fondling, drugs, oral sex, mutual masturbation, showering together, and more. All boys involved were minors when the abuse started, some as young as ten years old. The alleged abuse took place in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 2004 and 2005, the Diocese of Pittsburgh received two more reports that Hoehl had abused multiple young boys. In 2005, another victim came forward and said he was fondled in bed by Hoehl after he forced him to wear a long shirt and no underwear to bed. He was between 15 and 16 years old. He also said Hoehl towel-dried him after he showered on multiple occasions. After the victim stopped seeing Hoehl, he withheld the victim’s high school diploma unless the victim was to come to get it from him personally. He refused.

In 2010, a victim’s mother reported to the Diocese of Pittsburgh that her son had been abused by Hoehl in the late 1980s or early 90s. She said he groped him and slept naked with him. Another victim reported accusations against Hoehl in 2015. He said the Hoehl had abused him from 1966 to 1967.

Hoehl was named publicly as accused in a priest profile in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. He is believed to be residing in the Addison, Pennsylvania, area.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.