Dauphin County detectives arrest former priest for child molestation

March 14, 2019- Commonwealth v. John G. Allen:  This morning detectives from the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division arrested John G. Allen on four counts of indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors.  The criminal complaint charges that Allen, 75 of York, a former priest in the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, molested the two victims between 1997 and 2002 while they served as altar boys for St. Margaret Mary’s Alacoque Church, in Harrisburg, PA.    

The investigation into Allen began in October 2018 after the Diocese of Harrisburg notified the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office of allegations being made against Allen by a victim identified in the criminal complaint as Victim 1.  In February 2019, the Diocese notified the District Attorney’s Office that a second victim, Victim 2, had come forward to report his abuse by John Allen.     

In the present case, Allen is accused of fondling the Victim 1 by grabbing the victim’s buttocks on multiple occasions between 1999 and 2002.  Victim 1 reports he was touched from the age of 10 years to 13 years old.  The unwanted indecent contact ended when the Diocese removed Allen as pastor of Margaret Mary’s Church in 2002.  Victim 2 reports that Allen assaulted him from the time that he was 12 until he was 14 years old.  He described to police that Allen fondled him on multiple occasions between 1997 and 1999.  Allen reportedly touched Victim 2 on both the buttocks and on his genital area.     

Allen’s name appeared on the Harrisburg Diocese list of priests accused of past molestations and was named as an abuser in the Attorney General’s grand jury report.  In February 2002, Allen was removed as pastor of St. Margaret Mary’s Church after a man reported to the Diocese that Allen had abused him as a boy.  At the request of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pope Benedict XVI formally removed Allen from the priesthood in February 2006.

Det. John O’Connor is the lead investigator and Chief Deputy District Attorney Seán M. McCormack is the lead prosecutor on the case.   McCormack commented,

“There is a lot of confusion about the statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes.  I encourage anyone who has been the victim of abuse, even if you think it is too late to report, please report your abuse to authorities.  In this case, while the abuse occurred over 20 years ago, we are still able to bring charges because of the extended statute of limitations for sexual crimes committed against minors.”    

If anyone has information that may help this investigation they are encouraged to contact Det. John O’Connor at JO'Connor@dauphinc.org.   

NOTE:  The charges filed against John Allen are mere allegations at this time and Allen is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This post has been updated to include the booking photo of John Allen.