UNIONTOWN, Pa. (KDKA) -- A Fayette County priest accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting an 11-year-old altar boy in the back room of a church where they prepared Mass has pleaded no contest to indecent assault charges.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Father Andrew Kawecki was charged with indecent assault. His office charged the priest in August of last year. He was not named in the scathing grand jury report in 2018.
"It was identified following a surge of over 2,100 tips we received to our hotline since that report came out," Attorney General Shapiro said Monday.
According to Shapiro, Kawecki started abusing Skyler Moncheck in 2004 when he was 11 years old. The assaults happened for three years at St. Cyril and Methodius Church in Fayette County. Kawecki abused the altar boy in a back room as they prepared for Mass.
"I would like to urge anybody who's been in the same situation as me to come forward," Moncheck said outside the Fayette County Courthouse.
Moncheck spoke at the press conference on Monday. He thanked the attorney general's office for listening to him and getting justice.
"If it wasn't for their diligence, we wouldn't be here today," Moncheck said.
There was a second victim who came forward, but they were outside the statute of limitations. Shapiro said Kawecki will be registered as a sex offender for 10 years under Megan's Law.
"Every single tip is acted upon, whether it's by our law enforcement agency or another jurisdiction," Shapiro said.
Kawecki served 15 different parishes in the Diocese of Greensburg from May 1980 to 2019. The diocese said it's in the process of permanently removing Kawecki from the priesthood.
"The allegation against Fr. Kawecki came through the Comprehensive Reconciliation Fund in May of 2019. The Diocese of Greensburg immediately removed him from the parish and reported the allegation to ChildLine. The Diocese fully cooperated with the investigation. Bishop Kulick is spending time today in prayer for all victims of child sexual abuse, in particular those hurt by anyone associated with the Church. He is undertaking the process of permanently removing Fr. Kawecki from the priesthood. We ask that if anyone suspects that a child, young person or vulnerable adult has been abused by any person at any time, the person should call PA ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313, no matter when or where the suspected incident might have occurred. Today, we remind you that if you or someone you know has suffered abuse at the hands of anyone related to the Church, the Diocese is here for you to offer support, counseling, spiritual guidance and pastoral care," the diocese said in a statement.
Kawecki will be sentenced on Jan. 14. Moncheck is expected to speak at the sentencing.
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