Catholic priest sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting 10-year-old boy in Greensburg Diocese

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A Catholic priest has been sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting 10-year-old boy in the Greensburg Diocese.

John Sweeney, 76, was one of the 301 predator priests implicated in the 40th statewide Grand Jury Report.

He was sentenced to 11 and a half months to five years in a state prison and will also have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

“Today John Sweeney, a predator priest who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old boy in a Catholic church in Westmoreland County two decades ago, was sentenced to prison,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Sweeney pled guilty to using his position as a priest in the Diocese of Greensburg to sexually abuse a child. The young man, Josh, who survived this abuse and who testified against Sweeney is a hero; he spoke out because he was concerned that other children could be harmed. Because of Josh’s courage, Sweeney admitted to being a predator and is required to register as a convicted sexual offender. Justice was served in this case thanks to the bravery of this survivor to come forward and speak his truth.”

Of the 301 priests named in the report, Sweeney was one of only two whom the Office of the Attorney General was able to charge under the current statute of limitations.

Sweeney continued to serve as a priest for approximately 16 years after abusing the victim.

He was assigned to the following churches:

Title                             Assignment                                                     Start

Associate Pastor          Holy Family Church in Latrobe                        June 24, 1970

Associate Pastor          Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg     August 8, 1975

Pastor                          St. Hedwig Church in Smock                            May 22, 1980

Pastor                          St. Mary in Freeport                                           February 16, 1982

Pastor                          St. Margaret Mary in  Lower Burrell                  August 6, 1985

Pastor                          St. James Parish in Apollo                                 July 7, 1998

Pastor                          Holy Family Parish in West Newton                 October 30, 2008

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