The Vatican has defrocked a former Roman Catholic priest who is serving a prison term for the sexual assault of two boys in Jefferson County.

Bishop Lawrence T. Perisco of the Erie Diocese announced Friday that David Lee Poulson “was granted a dispensation from all the obligations attached to holy orders.”

“Because Mr. Poulson has now been removed from the clerical state, he is forbidden to function as a priest in the Catholic Church and should no longer present himself as a priest and not be admitted as a priest in the celebration of the sacraments,” Perisco said in a statement.

Poulson pleaded guilty in October to two felony charges in connection to repeated sexual assaults against one boy and the attempted assault of another. The boys were age 8 and 15 at the time of the abuse, which reportedly occurred at a remote cabin in Cook Forest. Poulson was also accused of assaulting one victim in a church rectory and then making that victim confess the abuse to him afterward.

He was sentenced to 30 months to 14 years in state prison.

Poulson was one of 301 Catholic priests identified as predators in a Grand Jury report released in August. He was the second priest sentenced for sexually abusing children in Pennsylvania.

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