Mr. Richard Smith
Diocese of Scranton
Arrested/Guilty Plea: 2004
Assigned as follows:
- Bishop Hafey High School (Hazleton, PA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against. Mr. Richard Smith:
Mr. Richard Smith was Principal Bishop Hafey High School in Hazleton, PA in the Diocese of Scranton. According to media reports, in June 2004, law enforcement charged Mr. Smith, with sexually assaulting a student at Bishop Hafey High School over a three year period. Investigators said it began when the girl was a sophomore in September, 1997 and continued until she was a senior in June, 2000. He later admitted to engaging the underage female victim in sexual contact multiple times in his office at the school.
One month after his arrest, he pled guilty to the charge and was sentenced to two years probation, with six months of house arrest.
According to media reports, he surrendered his teaching license in October 2004. At the time of his arrest, Smith’s wife was also a teacher. Sources say he was a very popular teacher who was well-liked among students and faculty at the school.
The Diocese of Scranton reported the allegation to law enforcement in 2004 after another employee reported Smith’s misconduct to the Diocese after mandatory Safe Environment Training that the Diocese began requiring of all of its employees in 2003. It is not clear exactly what information was reported, or why the reporter failed to disclose the information until 2004, but Smith ultimately admitted to the accusation.
Smith is still alive and residing in the Hazleton, Pennsylvania area, according to the Diocese of Scranton. He is 51 years old. He is not a registered 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 Scranton. 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 Scranton may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania and nationwide. We can help.