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Retired Westmoreland County priest accused of forcing boy to perform oral sex

Attorney General Josh Shapiro plans to announce criminal sexual abuse charges against a western Pennsylvania priest. (MGN)

LOWER BURRELL, Pa. — A now-retired Roman Catholic priest is accused of forcing a 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy to perform oral sex on him after counseling the 4th-grader about misbehaving on a school bus.

The state attorney general's office said Monday that the Rev. John Thomas Sweeney committed felony involuntary deviate sexual intercourse against the boy at St. Margaret Mary Elementary School in Lower Burrell.

Prosecutors say the alleged assault occurred during the 1991-92 school year, and that the boy was given milk and cookies afterward.

The Greensburg Diocese says the 74-year-old Sweeney was removed as pastor of Holy Family Parish in West Newton in 2016 after church officials learned of the allegation.

Court and diocese officials were unable to identify a defense lawyer for Sweeney. Sweeney made no comment to reporters when he turned himself in.

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