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Press Release

AG Shapiro Arrests Father Andrew Kawecki for Sexual Assault of 11 year old altar boy

August 26, 2020 | Topic: Criminal

Kawecki served in 15 parishes in the Greensburg Diocese since 1980

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced the arrest of Father Andrew Kawecki, a Fayette County priest charged with assaulting an 11 year old altar boy multiple times starting in 2004 and lasting until the boy was 14.

Father Kawecki, 65, surrendered to agents from the Office of Attorney General at district court this morning in Fayette County. He was charged with indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. His alleged victim, now in his late 20s, told prosecutors that Father Kawecki had forced sexual encounters with him starting when he was 11 years old. The assaults continued for three years in the back room of St. Cyril and Methodius Church in Fairchance where Father Kawecki prepared for services before mass.

“With the release of our Grand Jury report on abuse two years ago, I promised we would hold anyone who was abusing children accountable, no matter how powerful the institution behind them,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Survivors experience a lifetime of anguish and trauma trying to overcome the impact of abuse, especially when it is committed by the hands of their own parish priest. No coverup is too long, no institution too powerful to stop us from doing our job. We will not let predators get away with the sexual assault of children.”

Father Kawecki often requested his altar server to work during masses the priest was conducting. All of the assaults occurred in the room where Kawecki prepared for services before or after the morning masses and on Sundays when the boy was dropped off early at church by his parents. These assaults didn’t stop until the alleged victim’s family left the parish in 2007.

Kawecki has been on leave since allegations were made. He most recently served as a trust advisor at Conn-Area Catholic School in Connellsville, and pastor at St. John the Baptist in Scottdale and St. Joseph in Everson. He has served in 15 parishes in the Greensburg Diocese since being ordained in May, 1980.

The release of the Grand Jury Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse in 2018 has generated over 2,000 tips to the Office of Attorney General, including the information that led to this arrest. Anyone with relevant information about Father Andrew Kawecki should contact the Attorney General’s Office using the Clergy Abuse Hotline: 1-888-538-8541.

“Anyone struggling to come forward, know that my office is listening, we are here, and we won’t be afraid to take on tough fights to do what’s right. If you have information, please contact my office at 1-888-538-8541,” added Attorney General Shapiro.

Kawecki was arraigned today and released on $50,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 9. He has been ordered to have no contact with minors. He also surrendered his passport.

After being ordained in 1980, Kawecki served in the following assignments:

May 1980 – Associate Pastor, Immaculate Conception, Irwin, PA

May 1981 – Associate Pastor, St. John Baptist, Perryopolis, PA

August 1983 – Associate Pastor, St. Mary of Czestochowa New Kensington, PA

June 1990 – Parochial Vicar, St. Sebastian, Belle Vernon, PA

July 1990 – Chaplain, Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Belle Vernon, PA

July 1990 – Chaplain, Knights of Columbus, Belle Vernon, PA

June 1992 – Reverend, St James, Maxwell, PA

June 1992 – Reverend, St Julian, Isabella, PA

June 1995 – Pastor, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Leckrone, PA

June 2002 – Pastor, Church of the Resurrection, Clymer, PA

July 2004 – Pastor, St, Cyril and Methodius, Fairchance, PA

July 2007 – Administrator, St. Hubert, Point Marion, PA

June 2013 – Pastor, St. John the Baptist, Scottdale, PA

June 2013 – Administrator, St. Joseph, Everson, PA

May 2016 – Trust Advisor, Conn-Area Catholic School, Connellsville, PA

Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Daniel J. Dye is prosecuting this case. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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