Allentown priest charged with sexual assault of high school student

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Parishioners receive communion at Holy Infancy Roman Catholic in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, part of the Allentown Diocese. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

Parishioners receive communion at Holy Infancy Roman Catholic in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, part of the Allentown Diocese. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

Updated: 3:59 p.m.

Lehigh County prosecutors have charged a catholic priest from the Allentown Diocese with assaulting and sending explicit Snapchat messages to a 17-year-old girl at Central Catholic High School.

District Attorney Jim Martin announced the charges against 30-year-old Kevin Lonergan in a press conference Tuesday.

“The defendant has been charged with indecent assault and corruption of minors. Mr. Lonergan is being arraigned this afternoon in central booking,” said Martin.

The alleged abuse occurred within the past year. Once the accusations surfaced in June, the Allentown Diocese removed Lonergan from ministry.

Lonergan, of Pottsville, Pennsylvania was a priest at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Allentown.

The District Attorney clarified that the case is unrelated to last week’s grand jury report, which alleged 301 “predator priests” abused 1,000 victims across the state.

In the Allentown Diocese, 37 offenders were identified by the grand jury.

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