Mr. William Garvey
Diocese of Erie
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Mr. William Garvey:
Mr. William Garvey was teacher, coach, and college president of Mercyhurst College in the Diocese of Erie from 1980 to 2005. According to media reports, he abruptly retired after accusations surfaced that he sexually abused six boys when he coached youth basketball at the school for St. John the Baptist Church in Erie in the 1960s and 1970s.
The first victim raised allegations against Garvey in a June 2002 column in the Los Angeles Times. In his memoir “Never Let Me Go,” the victim said he was abused by Garvey when Garvey coached basketball for St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Erie.
Three other men said they were abused by Garvey while he was a coach. The two other men also told the newspaper that Garvey paid them for sexual acts when they were minors in the mid-1980s.
According to media reports, in 2018, Mercyhurst University announced that it was erasing Garvey’s name from its campuses. This removal included his photograph from the university’s library and other locations as well as signs at what had been known as Garvey Park.
Mercyhurst’s decision to remove Garvey’s name from the came nearly 13 years after the university leadership rejected a request from Mercyhurst faculty—which voted unanimously to recommend the name change—to change the name of the park to Advent Park because of the allegations against Garvey. The president of Mercyhurst at that time, Michael McQuillen, said such a move “would be divisive.”
Garvey died in 2017.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie. 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 Erie may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.