BREAKING NEWS Murder charge upgraded in Floyd case, 3 other cops charged Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Chico resident among the 3 killed in Solano County helicopter crash Full Story

Pennsylvania priest now faces criminal charges, district attorney's office says

A Catholic priest in Pennsylvania has been charged with indecent assault and corruption of a minor involving...

Posted: Aug 22, 2018 7:35 AM
Updated: Aug 22, 2018 7:35 AM

A Catholic priest in Pennsylvania has been charged with indecent assault and corruption of a minor involving a 17-year-old girl, Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin said Tuesday.

Father Kevin Lonergan, who served at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena in Allentown, started sending sexual messages to the victim via Snapchat after meeting her at St. Francis of Assisi in Allentown, Martin said in a press conference.

Belief, religion and spirituality

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal offenses

North America

Northeastern United States

Pennsylvania

Society

The Americas

United States

Criminal law

Law and legal system

Grand jury

Martin said Lonergan also hugged the girl while he was aroused and grabbed her buttocks, pulling her closer when she tried to pull away.

The victim told an adult at Central High School who contacted the diocese, Martin said. The diocese then told the district attorney's office of the accusation.

Archdiocese says it 'removed' priest

In a statement, the Diocese of Allentown said it learned of the allegation in June and shared it with the district attorney's office.

"Bishop Alfred Schlert also immediately removed Lonergan from his assignment," the statement says. "He was forbidden from all priestly ministry pending the results of the investigation."

The diocese says it delayed making an announcement at the request of prosecutors.

"The Diocese cooperated fully with the law enforcement investigation," the statement says. "Father Lonergan has retained his own legal counsel, at his own expense."

CNN is attempting to reach an attorney for Lonergan for comment.

Allegations not part of grand jury report

Pennsylvania priests have been under increased scrutiny after the release of a scathing, 887-page report by a grand jury that said more than 300 "predator priests" in the state have been credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 child victims.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro called on church leaders to support the report's recommendations "so that survivors have the opportunity to obtain justice." He also said his office's hotline and email accounts have "lit up" with calls and messages from reported abuse survivors since the grand jury report was published.

The grand jury investigated reports of sexual abuse dating back to 1947. And in many cases, the statute of limitations for bringing charges against priests has expired. State lawmakers are now considering whether to remove the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases.

Martin said the case against Lonergan was not related to the grand jury's findings.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 117215

Reported Deaths: 4305
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles572192448
Riverside8155342
San Diego7554269
Orange6574150
San Bernardino5501208
Alameda351597
Santa Clara2819143
San Francisco258743
Kern237639
San Mateo218884
Tulare200489
Fresno188236
Imperial179829
Santa Barbara166912
Contra Costa150637
Sacramento143958
Ventura116434
Kings11375
San Joaquin98235
Stanislaus75029
Monterey57110
Sonoma5664
Solano54622
Marin50115
Merced3017
San Luis Obispo2781
Placer2289
Santa Cruz2172
Yolo21324
Madera1143
Napa1133
Humboldt1023
El Dorado960
San Benito882
Butte511
Sutter462
Del Norte460
Nevada421
Shasta394
Mono371
Mendocino300
Yuba301
Lake260
Inyo201
Glenn170
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Amador100
Siskiyou80
Colusa70
Lassen50
Tehama51
Plumas40
Tuolumne40
Alpine20
Sierra10
Trinity10
Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 101° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 90°
Oroville
Clear
94° wxIcon
Hi: 101° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 94°
Paradise
Few Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 90°
Chester
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 82°
Red Bluff
Clear
95° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 95°
Willows
Few Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 104° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 90°
The Heat Advisory will stay in place through Thursday evening. Cooler temperatures and the potential for showers and thunderstorms are ahead for your weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events