Pennsylvania priest pleads guilty to sexually molesting 4th-grade boy

Penn Live

July 31, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

As Catholic officials across Pennsylvania brace for what has been described as a graphic and blistering investigation report into clergy sex abuse, a Greensburg Diocese priest charged with child sex crimes pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a boy.

At a news conference Tuesday morning in Westmoreland County, Attorney General Josh Shapiro called Father John Sweeney of the Greensburg Diocese a predator.

“…(T)oday there is no doubt, John Sweeney is accepting full responsibility and admitting what he did,” Shapiro said. Sweeney’s victim, whose first name is Josh, stood to the right of Shapiro, flanked by deputy attorney generals.

Sweeney, 75, is the first priest convicted as a result of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, which recently concluded an investigation into sexually abusive priests and clergy in six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses, including the Diocese of Greensburg.

Sweeney answered “Yes, your Honor” several times as a Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court judge asked him to affirm his plea, according to the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette.

Sweeney was indicted last year.

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