A former priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg has been arrested on charges he molested two children.
John G. Allen, 75, of York, abused the victims between 1997 and 2002 while they served as altar boys for St. Margaret Mary’s Alacoque Church in Harrisburg, the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office said.
Allen was arrested Thursday morning on four counts of indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors.
The district attorney’s office said it began investigating Allen when the diocese reported the allegations made by one of the victims in October. The second person came forward last month.
Allen is accused of grabbing one boy’s buttocks on multiple occasions between 1999 and 2002 when the child was 10 years to 13 years old.
The other victim says Allen fondled him on multiple occasions between 1997 and 1999 when he was between 12 and 14 years old.
Allen was removed as pastor of St. Margaret Mary’s Church in 2002 after a man reported to the diocese that Allen abused him as a boy. Pope Benedict XVI formally removed him from the priesthood in 2006, at the request of the diocese.
According to a lawsuit against Allen, he was relocated to St. Margaret Mary’s after he spent time in a treatment facility for sex offender priests.
“It’s our understanding from people who have actually come forward since we filed a lawsuit that Allen was abusing children for decades,” said Ben Andreozzi and attorney for Andreozzi and Associates.
Allen was named as an abuser by a statewide grand jury that investigated clergy in six Pennsylvania dioceses. He also was among 37 priests identified as abusers by the Harrisburg diocese last year.
In a statement, the diocese said every allegation of child sexual abuse concerning Allen has been reported by the diocese to multiple law enforcement authorities.
“We condemn John Allen’s actions and we fully support law enforcement and we cooperated with them on this case,” the statement reads.