Deacon convicted in child sex solicitation case gets 2 years’ probation, community service |

Deacon convicted in child sex solicitation case gets 2 years’ probation, community service

Natasha Lindstrom
Deacon Rosendo “Ross” Dacal

A Roman Catholic deacon from McCandless was sentenced Thursday to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service for convictions related to sending and soliciting sexually explicit material to an undercover police officer posing online as a teenage boy.

Deacon Rosendo “Ross” Dacal, 74, pleaded guilty in October on two felony counts, criminal solicitation sexual acts of criminal use of a communication facility.

Washington County Common Pleas Judge Gary Gilman sentenced Dacal to two years’ probation for each count, with the sentences to run concurrently. Gilman further ordered Dacal to obtain mental health treatment, court records show.

Dacal’s attorney, Robert Del Greco Jr., could not immediately be reached.

Following Dacal’s arrest last April on five charges , the Diocese of Pittsburgh placed Dacal on administrative leave. Dacal had served the All Saints Parish in Etna since 2011.

His security clearances at the Allegheny County Jail, where he was a chaplain, were revoked.

“The charges against (Dacal) are disturbing,” Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik said at the time. “We had no previous knowledge of his alleged activities.”

As of Thursday, Dacal remains on leave and cannot function as a deacon, diocesan spokesman the Rev. Nick Vaskov said.

Next begins a canonical review of Dacal led by the Vatican, which could lead to his laicization, or loss of clergy status, in coming months, Vaskov said.

“We addressed this as soon as we learned of the allegations,” the Rev. Nick Vaskov said. “We take all allegations very seriously.”

North Strabane police Officer Gary Scherer had been monitoring a chat room in December 2017 and posing as a 14-year-old boy when he encountered Dacal, who went on to exchange hundreds of messages, including ones that were “sexually explicit and graphic in nature,” a criminal complaint said.

Dacal also sent sexually explicit videos and solicited naked photographs, the complaint said.

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Homeland Security and the McCandless Police Department assisted in the investigation.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.