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Retired Priest Accused Of Abusing Boy Waives Hearing

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LEECHBURG, Pa. (AP) - A former Roman Catholic priest accused of molesting a 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

The Tribune-Review reports 74-year-old Rev. John Thomas Sweeney waived a charge of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse on Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Sweeney abused the student at St. Margaret Mary Elementary School in Lower Burrell during the 1991-92 school year. The accuser, now 35, is serving in the Coast Guard.

Sweeney's attorney, Francis Murrman, says the charge was filed five years past the statute of limitations. Murrman says he is asking state Attorney General Josh Shapiro to review and dismiss the charge.

Sweeney has denied the claims.

Prosecutors say the charge is viable under changes in the law meant to protect child victims who come forward years later.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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