Lehigh County priest charged with indecent assault, corruption of minors
The Lehigh County District Attorney has announced charges against the Rev. Kevin Lonergan, 30, of Pottsville, who most recently served as assistant pastor at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena in Allentown.
Lonergan faces charges of indecent assault and corruption of minors.
The allegation, involving a 17-year-old female he met through his work as a priest, was received by the Diocese of Allentown in early June, a release from the diocese states.
The diocese immediately reported the allegation to the district attorney’s office.
Bishop Alfred Schlert also immediately removed Lonergan from his assignment. He was forbidden from all priestly ministry pending the results of the investigation.
The investigation by law enforcement revealed Lonergan met the victim in August 2017 and exchanged Snapchat photos that were sexual in nature between December and January.
In February, Martin said Lonergan hugged the victim while excited and grabbed her inappropriately.
Lonergan was arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Rashid Santiago and faces a preliminary hearing on Sept. 11. He is free on $50,000 unsecured bail.
This allegation is not related to the investigation of clergy abuse by a statewide Grand Jury. The allegation was received after the Grand Jury had completed its work.
Lonergan has retained his own legal counsel, at his own expense.
Schlert is asking for prayers for all people who have been affected by this situation, as well as their families.
Anyone who knows of incidents of abuse, in the church or elsewhere, should report it to the State Child Line at 1-800-932-0313, the State Attorney General’s hotline at 1-888-538-8541 or to local law enforcement.