Former Harrisburg Priest Arrested, Charged with Indecent Assault
By Alexandra Simon
March 14, 2018
A former priest in the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg was arrested Thursday morning on accusations that he molested two altar boys between 1997 and 2002.
John G. Allen was arrested on four counts of indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors.
According to the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office, an investigation into Allen, now 75, began in October 2018 after the Diocese of Harrisburg notified the DA's office of allegations made against the former priest.
By February 2019, the diocese notified investigators that a second victim had come forward to report his abuse by Allen.
According to the DA, Allen is accused of fondling Victim 1 multiple times between 1999 and 2002 while the victim was 10 to 13 years old.
Victim 2 reported he was assaulted by Allen from the time he was 12 until he was 14, and told investigators Allen fondled him between 1997 and 1999.
John Allen was named in a list of priests in the Harrisburg Diocese accused of past molestations and was named as an abuser in Attorney General Josh Shapiro's Grand Jury report.
According to the DA, Allen was removed as a pastor of St. Margaret Mary's Church in 2002 after receiving reports that he had abused a man as a boy.
Pope Benedict XVI formally removed Allen from the priesthood in February 2006.
The Grand Jury report, published in August 2018, listed 300 "predator priests" accused of molesting children in six dioceses in Pennsylvania.
45 of the priests named in the report were from the Harrisburg Diocese.
Soon after the report was released, attorneys said they were looking for John Allen in order to question him about the alleged abuse.
The Diocese of Harrisburg released the following statement regarding John Allen:
The Diocese of Harrisburg removed John Allen from ministry 17 years ago immediately upon receiving a credible allegation of child sexual abuse against him. That allegation was also turned over to law enforcement and publicly announced by the Diocese at that time.
Every allegation of child sexual abuse concerning Allen has been reported by the Diocese to multiple law enforcement authorities. Allen’s name was released by the Diocese of Harrisburg in our list of clergy, deacons and seminarians with allegations of child sexual abuse on August 1, 2018 and he was included in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report.
As the District Attorney’s office acknowledged, today’s charges were the result of reports made to their office by the Diocese.
We condemn John Allen’s actions and we fully support law enforcement and we cooperated with them on this case.
Allen is not now, and has not been for over a decade, a priest of the Catholic Church. Bishop Ronald Gainer, on behalf of the Church, extends our prayers, heartfelt sorrow and apologies to all survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
Anyone with information that could help this investigation is encouraged to contact Det. John O’Connor at JO'Connor@dauphinc.org.
To report clergy abuse, call the Attorney General's clergy sex abuse hotline at 1-888-538-8541 or call the PA Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-932-0313.