of the clergy members accused of multiple cases of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania drove the train at the Magic Kingdom during 18 years as an employee at Walt Disney World after he left the Catholic church.
The Rev. Edward George Ganster was named by at least three alleged victims in the lengthy Pennsylvania grand jury report released Tuesday on widespread sex abuse and its “systematic” cover-up by the Catholic Church.
It took years for each of the victims to come forward with the allegations, which were said to have occurred between 1977 and 1979.
The first victim, who said he was 14 years old when Ganster fondled and groped him in 1979, reported the abuse to the Diocese in 2002, according to the report.
He said he was an altar boy at St. Joseph in Frackville when Ganster dragged him across the living room floor by his underwear. He said Ganster beat him, too, with a metal cross.
He was abused over the course of a year and a half, according to the report.
The victim reported the same abuse again in March 2004, but the Diocese only reported it to the Northampton County District Attorney’s Office in 2007, according to the report.
Three years later, in 2005, a second victim’s mother reporter that her son had been sexually abused by Ganster in 1997, when he was 13 years old.
The victim accompanied Ganster on an overnight trip to the beach where Ganster allegedly hurt him and got into bed with him. The victim quickly told his parents about the incident and his mother took the complaint Monsignor Connelly, who said he would remedy the situation. Ganster was subsequently reassigned, according to the report. The victim suffered irreparable harm as a result of the abuse, the report states.
In 2015, the mother of a third victim told the Diocese that her son was abused by Ganster in 1977, when he was 12 years old. The Diocese did not provide ant other details on the incident.
Ganster was placed on sick leave in 1987, and was later laicized because he planned on marrying.
He indicated that he would seek employment at Walt Disney World and sought a recommendation for employment from the Diocese.
“Despite knowing Ganster was a sexual predator, Monsignor Muntone responded to Ganster’s request for a reference by writing, ‘I am quite sure that the Diocese will be able to give you a positive reference in regard to the work you did during your years of service here as a priest.’”
“With the reference, Ganster was hired by Walt Disney World and worked there for the next eighteen years,” the report reads.