Raphael John Musto (March 30, 1929 – April 24, 2014) was an American politician from Pennsylvania who served as a Democratic Party member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district from 1980 to 1981. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 118th district from 1971 to 1980 and of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 14th district from 1982 until his retirement in 2010.

Raphael Musto
Ray Musto circa 1980.jpg
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 14th district
In office
January 4, 1983 – November 30, 2010
Preceded byMartin Murray
Succeeded byJohn Yudichak
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 11th district
In office
April 9, 1980 – January 3, 1981
Preceded byDaniel J. Flood
Succeeded byJames Nelligan
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 118th district
In office
January 5, 1971 – April 15, 1980[1]
Preceded byJames Musto
Succeeded byThomas Tigue
Personal details
Born(1929-03-30)March 30, 1929
Pittston, Pennsylvania
DiedApril 24, 2014(2014-04-24) (aged 85)
Pittston, Pennsylvania
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Frances Panzetta Musto
ResidencePittston, Pennsylvania

Early life and educationEdit

Musto was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania and graduated from Pittston Township High School. He served in the United States Army from 1951 to 1953 during the Korean War.[2] He graduated from Kings College in Wilkes-Barre in 1971.[3]


When his father, longtime State Representative James Musto, died in 1971, the younger Musto won a special election to fill his seat. He was elected to a full term in 1972 and was reelected three times.

In 1980, longtime Congressman Dan Flood, who had represented Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district for most of the time since 1945, resigned after being censured for bribery. Musto won a four-way special election for the remainder of Flood's term. He ran for a full term later that year, but was narrowly defeated by Republican challenger James Nelligan, whom Musto had defeated in the special election.

While in Congress, Musto met with undercover FBI agents posing as representatives of a fictitious Middle Eastern Sheik known as the ABSCAM sting operation. Musto declined an implied bribe from the FBI agents and was never charged in the investigation.[4]

Musto was elected to the state Senate in 1982 and was reelected six times, representing a district consisting of Wilkes-Barre and portions of the Poconos. He did not seek re-election in 2010, choosing instead to retire at the end of his term.[5]

On November 23, 2010, a federal grand jury issued a six-count indictment against Musto, charging him with accepting more than $28,000 from an unnamed company and individual in exchange for his help in obtaining grants and funding. Musto was also charged with accepting $3,000 from another unnamed individual in a separate incident.[6] Musto denied any wrongdoing.[7] The trial was delayed multiple times due to Musto's declining health.

Musto was released from a federal medical prison in North Carolina in April 2014. He had been declared mentally unfit to stand trial and was diagnosed with advanced stage lymph-node cancer while being treated at the prison.[8] He died at his home in Pittston on April 24[9] and is interred at Pittston City Cemetery.[10]

The criminal case against him was dismissed posthumously on April 30, 2014 by Federal Judge A. Richard Caputo.


  • United States Congress. "Ray Musto (id: M001123)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  1. ^ Cox, Harold (November 3, 2004). "Pennsylvania House of Representatives - 1979-1980" (PDF). Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.
  2. ^ "Senator Raphael J. Musto Obituary". www.legacy.com. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Pennsylvania State Senate - Raphael John Musto". www.legis.state.pa.us. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  4. ^ "ABSCAM couldn't nail Musto". www.timesleader.com. 2015-06-23. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  5. ^ O'Boyle, Bill (November 18, 2010). "A final bow for 2 area legislative titans". Times Leader. Archived from the original on November 21, 2010.
  6. ^ Morgan-Besecker, Terrie (November 23, 2010). "Grand jury indicts Sen. Raphael Musto for allegedly accepting kickbacks". Times Leader. Archived from the original on November 24, 2010.
  7. ^ Mocarsky, Steve (November 23, 2010). "Musto denies any wrongdoing". Times Leader. Archived from the original on November 24, 2010.
  8. ^ "Ex-state Sen. Raphael Musto, 85, dies not long after being released from prison for medical reasons". www.pennlive.com. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  9. ^ DuPuis, Roger (April 24, 2014). "Musto dead at 85". Times Leader. Archived from the original on April 24, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  10. ^ "Rapheael John "Ray" Musto". www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 26 May 2019.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Daniel J. Flood
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district

Succeeded by
James L. Nelligan