Church Pays $200K To Settle Molest Claim Against Priest Who Produced, Sold Videos Of Speedo-Clad Young Wrestlers
Nine years after a New Jersey priest was first exposed for peddling videos of Speedo-clad boys wrestling, church officials have agreed to pay $200,000 to settle a man’s claims that the reverend molested him when he was a teenage grappler.
The June 2011 settlement reached between the victim and officials with the Byzantine Catholic Church involved allegations leveled against Rev. Glenn Michael Davidowich, 48, who served at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Trenton when the alleged abuse occurred about 20 years ago.
The settlement was first reported by Star-Ledger reporter Mark Mueller.
A copy of the settlement agreement, with the victim’s name redacted, was provided to TSG by Mitchell Garabedian, the accuser’s lawyer. Along with the six-figure payout, the Byzantine church also agreed to pay the man’s “outstanding therapy and pharmaceutical bills” as well as prescription and counseling costs through mid-2016.
According to Garabedian, his client was molested by Davidowich over a three-year period beginning in 1989, when he was 15. The victim, he said, was assaulted by Davidowich in a New Jersey church rectory as well as in the boy's own home. Garabedian added that Davidowich wrestled with the boy and filmed him grappling with other teens.
After relocating to Pennsylvania from New Jersey, Davidowich (pictured above) moved to Wisconsin, where he currently shares an address in Manitowoc with Tony Karl, who works as “music director/worship coordinator” at St. James Episcopal Church. In a December 2010 Advent newsletter prepared by Karl, Davidowich is referred to as a “Byzantine Catholic priest residing in Manitowoc.”
As TSG reported in 2002, Davidowich incorporated an outfit called the Junior Professional Wrestling Association (JPWA), which operated a web site offering 50 separate videotapes--at $20 apiece--of matches featuring young men using ring names like HardKore Kid, Sven, and Latin Heat (some of the matches were filmed by Davidowich on church property).
At the time Davidowich was first linked to the JPWA, a visit to the group’s web site revealed that he and Karl (who was listed in corporate records as the group’s “Production Manager”) posted hundreds of images of young men--usually with their legs splayed. The suggestive photos included posed shots of wrestlers, some of whom appeared to be minors, astride one another.
None of the grapplers is seen wearing headgear, singlets, or even shoes and socks. In fact, with the images emphasizing the bulge in a young grappler’s Speedo, Davidowich and Karl left little doubt about what they were selling. The JPWA web site once claimed to have 70 wrestlers, with some as young as 14-years-old.
Despite the exposure of the troubling nature of the JPWA web site and videos, Davidowich--who could not be reached for comment--was able to remain a priest. And he continued to run the JPWA web site, which is registered from a post office box in Manitowoc (Karl remains the site’s administrative contact).
The pair even operated a YouTube channel, but that disappeared in the wake of news about the $200,000 legal settlement. Before the channel was removed, one video with highlights from a $35 JPWA compilation tape was yanked by YouTube since it was a violation of the web giant’s “policy on nudity or sexual content.”