Priest named in church sex abuse probe jailed

Times Leader

December 23, 2018

A Roman Catholic priest on Friday became the first person sentenced to prison as a result of a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that found hundreds of clergy had abused children over seven decades.

The Rev. John Thomas Sweeney, 76, received 11¢ months to five years in state prison and will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

He pleaded guilty in July to misdemeanor indecent assault on a minor after being accused of forcing a 10-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him while counseling the fourth-grader about misbehaving on a school bus.

“I want the public to know that he’s profoundly remorseful for any pain, anguish and discomfort that the victim has suffered as a result of his actions,” said Sweeney’s lawyer, Fran Murrman, after the sentencing in Westmoreland County.

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