Former Valley priest arrested in Dauphin Co. for alleged abuse


HARRISBURG – A former Valley Catholic priest was arrested Thursday after allegedly molesting two altar boys. Media reports say John Allen, who served for six years at St. Pius X in Selinsgrove, was arrested Thursday in Dauphin County. Media reports say he’s charged with four counts of indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors. According to media reports, Dauphin County DA Francis Chardo says two victims were abused while serving as altar boys at St. Margaret Mary’s Church in Harrisburg. The alleged abused occurred between 1997 and 2002.


Allen served at St. Pius from May 1980 through June 1986. According part of Allen’s record in the report, he was suspended in 2002 after multiple abuse allegations were made while he was assigned in Selinsgrove. Those allegations included paying for sex with minors.


In a statement to WKOK, the Diocese says it removed Allen 17 years ago immediately upon receiving a credible allegation against him. The Diocese says the St. Margaret Mary’s allegation was turned over to law enforcement and publicly announced by the Diocese at that time.  The Diocese says Allen was included in their list of 71 clergy released ahead of last summer’s grand jury report, which Allen was also listed on. The Diocese says it condemns Allen’s actions and it fully supports law enforcement. See the Diocese’ full statement below.

Diocese of Harrisburg Releases Statement

Concerning John Allen

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Diocese of Harrisburg released the following statement today regarding the arrest of John Allen:

The Diocese of Harrisburg removed John Allen from ministry 17 years ago immediately upon receiving a credible allegation of child sexual abuse against him. That allegation was also turned over to law enforcement and publicly announced by the Diocese at that time.

Every allegation of child sexual abuse concerning Allen has been reported by the Diocese to multiple law enforcement authorities. Allen’s name was released by the Diocese of Harrisburg in our list of clergy, deacons and seminarians with allegations of child sexual abuse on August 1, 2018 and he was included in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report.

As the District Attorney’s office acknowledged, today’s charges were the result of reports made to their office by the Diocese.

We condemn John Allen’s actions and we fully support law enforcement and we cooperated with them on this case.

Allen is not now, and has not been for over a decade, a priest of the Catholic Church. Bishop Ronald Gainer, on behalf of the Church, extends our prayers, heartfelt sorrow and apologies to all survivors of clergy sexual abuse.



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