Former Priest with Harrisburg Diocese Charged with Indecent Assault
By Travis Kellar
March 13, 2019
A former priest with the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg has been arrested on child molestation charges, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.
John G. Allen, 75, of York was arrested Thursday by detectives from the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division. Allen is charged with four counts of indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors.
Allen is accused of molesting two boys between 1997 and 2002 while they served as altar boys for St. Margaret Mary’s Alacoque Church in Harrisburg, police say.
Allen’s name appeared on a list released by the Harrisburg Diocese last year of priests against whom “credible” allegation of child sexual abuse had been made. He was also named as an abuser by a state grand jury. In a 900-page report released in August, the grand jury investigation revealed that more than 1,000 people, most of them children, were sexually abused by clergy in six of Pennsylvania’s eight diocese over the decades.
The grand jury identified 301 members of the clergy, including Allen, as having allegedly committed criminal or morally reprehensible conduct against children.
Pope Benedict XVI formally removed Allen from the priesthood in February 2006.
The investigation into Allen started in October when the Diocese of Harrisburg notified the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office of allegations made against Allen by a man.
The man told police Allen grabbed his buttocks on multiple occasions between 1999 and 2002, when the man was 10 to 13 years old. That contact ended when the diocese removed Allen as a pastor of St. Margaret Mary’s Alacoque Church in 2002. He was removed, according to the district attorney’s office, after the diocese learned of allegations of sexual abuse of another individual.
The diocese notified the district attorney’s office in February that another man had come forth to report abuse by Allen, according to the release.
That man told police Allen touched him on the buttocks and in the genital area on multiple occasions from 1997 to 1999. The man said the the contact happened from the time he was 12 until he was 14, police said.
“There is a lot of confusion about the statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes," Chief Deputy District Attorney Sean M. McCormack said in the release. "I encourage anyone who has been the victim of abuse, even if you think it is too late to report, please report your abuse to authorities. In this case, while the abuse occurred over 20 years ago, we are still able to bring charges because of the extended statute of limitations for sexual crimes committed against minors.”
Anyone who has information that may help investigators is asked to contact Det. John O’Connor at jo’firstname.lastname@example.org.