A former priest in the Diocese of Greensburg, John Thomas Sweeney, has been charged with a single count of sexually abusing a 4th grade boy over 20 years ago. The assault is alleged to have occurred about 25 years ago. The victim, now aged 35, was just 10 years old at the time. The charges were filed on July 24, 2017 and join a growing list of criminal charges brought against various priests in Pennsylvania.
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The newest criminal charge against Sweeney was filed after an investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office which included a Grand Jury investigation. According to a press release issued by the Attorney General’s Office, additional criminal charges were not filed against Sweeney due to Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations.
Catholic Church Abuse Investigation – Father John Thomas Sweeney
According to the press release, Father Sweeney served at the St. Margaret Mary parish in Lower Burrell, PA for over a decade beginning in 1985. He continued to serve there until 1997, at least 5 years after the allegations in the recent criminal case.
According to the Grand Jury Report, Bishop Anthony Bosco ordered Sweeney to be transferred from St. Margaret Mary in March 1997. Sweeney had been the pastor of St. Margaret Mary for over a decade. St. Margaret Mary Catholic School was associated with that parish and is where the abuse in the criminal case is alleged to have occurred.
Father Sweeney was assigned at various parishes in the Diocese of Greenburg:
- Holy Family Church (Latrobe, since 1970)
- Blessed Sacrament Cathedral (Greensburg, since 1975)
- St. Hedwig Church (Smock, since 1980)
- St. Mary (Freeport, since 1982)
- St. Margaret Mary (Lower Burrell, since 1985)
- St. James Parish (Apollo, since 1998)
- Holy Family Parish (West Newton, since 2008)
Any witnesses or victims of priest abuse in the Diocese of Greenburg who would like to discuss a specific case is invited to contact our lawyers.
Pennsylvania Priest Abuse Victims’ Rights Lawyers
Our victims’ rights law firm is accepting clients who have been sexually abused by priests in the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. Victims can call our office at (866) 641-0806. Firm partner Brian Kent is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor who now represents victims in the civil justice system.