HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A Fayette County priest has been arrested for assaulting an 11-year-old altar boy for three years starting in 2004, the state Attorney General’s Office announced.

Father Andrew Kawecki, 65, was arrested Wednesday and has been charged with indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

The alleged victim, now in his late 20s, told prosecutors that Kawecki forced sexual encounters with him when he was 11. He said it took place in the back room of St. Cyril and Methodius Church in Fairchance where Kawecki prepared for services before mass.

The AG’s Office said Kawecki often requested his altar server to work during masses the priest was conducting. The assaults continued until the family left the parish in 2007.

“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,” AG Josh Shapiro said in a release. “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.”

The AG’s Office says the release of the Grand Jury Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse in 2018 has resulted in over 2,000 tips, including one that lead to this arrest.

Kawecki was placed on leave after allegations first surfaced. 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 been arraigned was released on $50,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 9. He has been ordered to have no contact with minors and has released his passport.

Kawecki has served in 15 parishes in the Greensburg Diocese since being ordained in May, 1980:

  • 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

Anyone with information about Father Andrew Kawecki should contact the Attorney General’s Office using the Clergy Abuse Hotline: 1-888-538-8541.

Visit abuselawsuit.com for more resources.