Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Catholic Deacon Pleads to Sex Crime Mccandless Man to Be Sentenced in January

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Catholic Deacon Pleads to Sex Crime Mccandless Man to Be Sentenced in January

Article excerpt

A suspended Roman Catholic deacon pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felony charges for attempting a sexual solicitation of a police officer posing online as a teenage boy.

Rosendo Dacal pleaded to criminal solicitation of sexual abuse of children under a section of the statute pertaining to depicting sexual acts via computer, photo, video or film. That is a class two felony.

He also pleaded guilty to criminal use of a communication facility, a class three felony.

"Mr. Dacal was improperly communicating with a police officer posing as a teenager, and by his plea of guilty, he has accepted criminal responsibility for that transgression," said a statement from his defense attorney, Robert Del Greco. Several other related pending charges against Dacal will be dismissed at sentencing.

Mr. Dacal, 73, of McCandless, was arrested in April after he allegedly sent and solicited obscene images from an undercover police officer posing online as a 14-year-old boy.

Judge Gary Gilman accepted the plea and set a sentencing date of Jan. 24.

The hearing took place in Washington County Court of Common Pleas.

Mr. Dacal answered "Yes, your honor," after each of several questions from Judge Gilman on whether he understood the plea he was entering.

When the judge told Mr. Dacal he will be required to register with state police as a sex offender for the next 25 years, Mr. Dacal noted he would be about 99 years old at the end of that time.

The maximum penalties for the two convictions are 10 and seven years, the judge said. But assistant district attorney John Paul Lewis said the standard range for the charges under these circumstances is 9 to 16 months.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh suspended Mr. Dacal from ministry immediately after his April 10 arrest. He remains on leave, and any internal process such as a removal from the office of deacon would not begin before the completion of the civil process, including sentencing, according to the diocesan spokesman, the Rev. Nicholas Vaskov. …

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