Father Robert Wolk
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Assigned as follows:
- 6/07/1966–5/30/1972: St. Athanasius (West View, PA)
- 9/1972–5/1974: Catholic University of America, student
- 5/30/1974–1986: Assistant Chancellor of the Diocese of Pittsburgh
- 7/22/1979–6/10/1981: La Roche College (Pittsburgh, PA)
- 5/13/1986–9/23/1987: St. Thomas More Church (Bethel Park, PA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Robert Wolk:
Father Robert Wolk was ordained a priest in 1966, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, on September 22, 1987, an adult male came forward alleging that when he was 12 years old and in the sixth grade, he became friendly with Wolk, a resident at St. Thomas More Church. The victim stated Wolk invited him to the rectory to watch football games and socialize. Eventually, cigarettes and alcohol became part of this socializing, which progressed into “belly rubs” and “oral sex on the part of both.”
The victim added that x-rated movies were sometimes involved as well. He stated sometimes he would stay overnight at the rectory in Wolk’ s apartment and indicated that his sexual relationship with the priest continued for an extended period of time.
The victim added that he was greatly concerned about his brother, who was 2 years younger than him. He indicated that his younger brother had a similar sexual relationship with Wolk, which included “oral sex on the part of both.” When confronted, Father Wolk admitted without hesitation of his sexual relationship with the two boys.
From October 1987, until June 1988, Wolk received treatment/therapy at St. Luke Institute in Maryland. The two victims filed a lawsuit in August 1988, which named Wolk as a defendant along with Father Francis Pucci and Father Richard Zula.
An Indictment Against Father Wolk
Additionally, on October 11, 1988, Father Robert Wolk was charged in Allegheny County with sexually assaulting the two victims, who were altar boys at the time of the assaults. These assaults occurred over a 6-year period. The charges against Wolk involved oral sodomy and attempted anal sex. During the investigation, it was alleged that other unnamed priests conducted sadomasochistic rituals on several young boys in Washington and Somerset Counties, as well as in Florida and Canada.
In January 1990, Wolk pled guilty in Allegheny County to four counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and to the corruption of minors. He was sentenced to five to 10 years of incarceration. On June 28, 1990, Wolk pleaded guilty in Washington County to two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. In the Washington County case, Wolk received a sentence of five to 10 years, to be served concurren to his Allegheny County sentence.
More Allegations Against Father Wolk
On October 3, 2003, Diocesan officials met with a 37-year-old man about alleged abuse by Father Robert Wolk in the mid-to-late 1980s. The man said that as a teen he had worked in the rectory of St. Thomas Moore.
The victim stated that on one occasion he was in the bathroom when Wolk entered. The priest complained that he was in pain and needed to use the bathroom. He asked the teen if he would help him use the bathroom by holding Wolk’s penis. The teen felt it was an odd request, but did so, viewing it as someone who needed help.
On another occasion, Wolk gave the teenaged victim a massage. As the massage continued, the teen heard the sound of Wolk undoing his belt buckle. When the teen asked Wolk what he was doing, Wolk replied he was just loosening his belt to get comfortable. A little while later, Wolk told the teen he would be putting some lotion on his neck. Although the teen did not see any lotion, he felt Wolk put something wet over his neck. The priest then took out a handkerchief and wiped off the excess.
On March 12, 2009, yet another adult male contacted the Diocese alleging abuse by Wolk. The victim stated that he was abused by the priest from 1968 to 1970 or 1971, while the priest was assigned to St. Athanasius. He stated he was 14 to 17 years of age when the abuse took place and that some of the incidents occurred at the parish, while others occurred at a retreat house on Route 8.
On September 9, 2010, the Diocese received another report of sexual abuse. The victim was now 44 years of age reported that when he was 12 years of age, Wolk took him to St. Vincent’s in Westmoreland County for an overnight stay. While at the campus, Wolk allowed him to drive Wolk’s car, which the victim found pretty exciting since he was only 12 years old at the time. He stated that during the overnight stay Wolk inappropriately touched him and performed oral sex on him.
Robert Wolk was named publicly as accused in a priest profile in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. A civil lawsuit was filed in June 2020. He has since been released from prison and is living in Sarasota, Florida, where is registered as a sex offender.
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.