SCRANTON – A defrocked priest from the Diocese of Scranton was jailed Friday afternoon on charges that he violated the terms of his probation.
Albert Liberatore Jr., 42, a registered sex offender, was lodged in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility on two violations of the state’s Megan’s Law.
According to court papers:
Under the terms of Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law, Liberatore is required to report to state police when he changes his address.
Liberatore had been living with his father at a home at 906 W. Locust St. in Scranton but a detective from the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office learned the former priest was still registered at a home in Stroudsburg.
A concerned neighbor named John Frank, who knew Liberatore, told a detective that he was concerned because the street where Liberatore was living is a popular walking route for students at West Scranton High School. Frank said Liberatore had been living on Locust Street for at least two or three months.
Investigators from the district attorney’s office staked out the West Locust Street and witnessed Liberatore enter and leave the home on several late nights and early mornings.
Investigators executed a search warrant Friday afternoon at the West Locust Street home and several items were removed, according to Lackawanna County First Assistant Attorney Gene Talerico. A copy of the search warrant containing a description of the items removed from the home was not available at press time. Talerico refused to elaborate.
Liberatore was sentenced to 10 years probation in August 2005 after pleading guilty to groping a former altar boy in a hotel room in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. Liberatore, who was previously assigned to Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Duryea, had faced three first-degree felony counts in New York, including sodomy and sexual assault.
He also pleaded guilty to molesting the same boy in Luzerne County, according to previously published reports.
The diocese announced in July that the Vatican had removed Liberatore from the priesthood.
Liberatore remained on the Diocesan payroll until July 2006. Since leaving the church, Liberatore had worked at Florey & Holloway Cleaners, a dry cleaner in Dickson City. Megan’s Law records show he was registered to work in Lackawanna County where the company is located.
Liberatore was arraigned Friday before District Judge James Kennedy in Scranton. He is being held in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility without bail on a probation detainer.