A former priest who is one of more than 300 clergy named in a landmark investigating grand jury report about widespread sexual abuse and institutional coverup in the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania pleaded guilty on Thursday in Dauphin County to assaulting two altar boys between 1997 and 2002.
John Allen, 76, of West Manchester Township, appeared via video conference before Common Pleas Judge Deborah E. Curcillo, and admitted to sexually touching the boys over their clothes while at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Church in Penbrook. He’s set to be sentenced to five years’ probation on Jan. 21, 2021, as part of a plea agreement on charges of indecent assault and corruption of minors.
In response to questions from Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle, Allen answered with, “Yes, indeed” and “I understand that, yes.” He sat next to his attorney, Brian Perry, who is reserving discussing the case until sentencing.
Gettle said the survivors were between 10 and 12 at the time. The sexual abuse, she said, was not disclosed to law enforcement until more than a decade later.
The sentencing guidelines for the crimes, at that time, called for probation. The men are now 31 and 35, respectively.
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