Orwigsburg Priest Fails to Win Reduction in Prison Sentence

Reading Eagle [Pennsylvania]
December 22, 2006

A Schuylkill County judge refused to reduce a four- to 10-year prison sentence for an Orwigsburg priest for violating probation in a child pornography case, officials said Thursday.

The Rev. Ronald J. Yarrosh, 57, asked Schuylkill County President Judge William E. Baldwin to reduce his sentence because no additional charges had been filed against him.

In August 2005, Yarrosh was sentenced to three to 23 months in Schuylkill County Prison for taking more than $23,000 from St. Ambrose Church in Schuylkill Haven, where he was an assistant pastor.

At the same time, Yarrosh got 10 years of probation for sexual abuse of children. That charge came after police investigating the embezzlement allegations found Yarrosh had hundreds of images of child pornography.

Authorities said Yarrosh violated his probation by purchasing child pornography, taking a stripper's 7-year-old daughter to lunch and drinking alcohol.

Yarrosh's lawyer, Christopher W. Hobbs of Schuylkill County, argued that Yarrosh should not have received such a harsh sentence for the probation violation because he was not charged with any new crimes.

Yarrosh worked at Holy Rosary and St. Margaret's Roman Catholic churches in Reading in the 1980s.

The Diocese of Allentown relieved Yarrosh of his duties when he was charged in 2004 in the theft case.


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