January 13, 2022

A retired schoolteacher from Maryland denies that she defamed a Pennsylvania private school educator accused of sexually abusing his students, finding the plaintiff’s claims of defamation, tortious interference and others levied against her to be without merit.

Kurt Nelson of Pittsburgh initially filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Dec. 1 versus Gemma Hoskins of Ocean City, Md. and Sister Cathy Cesnik Fund For Survivors, Inc. of Annapolis, Md.

“In July 2018, an individual named Sasha Gardner posted a message to his Facebook page claiming he was sexually abused 7-8 years prior as a student at St. Bernard School, a private school in Mount Lebanon. Plaintiff worked at St. Bernard School during the years 2003 to 2011. In 2015, plaintiff began working at Seton LaSalle Catholic High School, a private school in Pittsburgh. In July 2018, a Facebook message indicating that Gardner claimed plaintiff was the one who abused him was anonymously sent to the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Plaintiff has continuously denied these allegations,” the suit said.

The defendants are represented by Efrem M. Grail and Brian C. Bevan of The Grail Law Firm in Pittsburgh, plus Michael Dolce of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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