Pittsburgh Priest's Transfer Halted Following Abuse Allegation

February 23, 2010

[with video]

A Roman Catholic priest in Pittsburgh under investigation for allegedly fondling a teen girl nearly four decades ago will not be reassigned to a convent in Whitehall.

Earlier this week, Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh officials said the Rev. Alvin Adams, 69, would transfer from his position as a parish priest and Bishop Canevin Catholic High School chaplain to the convent next month.

However, the diocese revoked the assignment after parents of children in a nearby day care complained.

"We already determined he was unassignable, determined he wasn't going to be in a parish," said Fr. Ron Lengwin.

Adams has been on leave since March while the diocese investigated allegations he fondled a 16-year-old girl in the 1970s. Two other alleged victims came forward later.

Bishop David Zubik said a diocesan review board found one of the allegations credible, prompting the initial transfer.

Adams has denied the allegations. His attorney, Paul Titus, said the diocese is putting public relations considerations ahead of justice.

"He seems cowardly, hiding behind his attorney," said Judy Jones of Snapnetwork, a national watchdog group. "He should come out and say he did not do it."

No civil or criminal charges have been filed.


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