Local priest charged with sexually assaulting altar boy

FAYETTE COUNTY, Pa. — A Fayette County priest accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old altar boy for three years turned himself in on Wednesday.

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

The assaults allegedly started in 2004 and continued for three years in the back room of St. Cyril and Methodius Church in Fairchance, according to Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

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These assaults didn’t stop until the alleged victim’s family left the parish in 2007, according to a release.

“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,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “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 cover-up 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.”

Kawecki has been on leave since the allegations were made last year. He 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

Kawecki was arraigned on Wednesday and released on $50,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 9. He has been ordered to have no contact with minors and surrender his passport, according to a release.

“Anyone struggling to come forward, know that my office is listening, we are here, and we won’t be afraid to take on tough fights to do what’s right. If you have information, please contact my office at 1-888-538-8541,” Shapiro said in the release.