A patron kneels before the altar.

UNIONTOWN, Pa. — A western Pennsylvania Roman Catholic priest pleaded no contest Monday to indecent assault that began when the victim was an 11-year-old altar boy.

Prosecutors said the Rev. Andrew Mark Kawecki, 66, of Greensburg will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years after entering the no contest plea before a Fayette County judge.

A message seeking comment was left for the defense attorney listed in the online docket as representing Kawecki.

Prosecutors said the sexual abuse began in 2004, occurring in a back room of the Saints Cyril and Methodius Church in Fairchance, Pennsylvania, among the 15 parishes within the Diocese of Greensburg where Kawecki has served since 1980.

He was removed from ministry and parishioners were notified after investigators received a tip about Kawecki in May 2019.

The attorney general's office said after Kawecki was charged another victim made allegations of similar abuse but those claims were too old to be prosecuted under the criminal statute of limitations.

Kawecki is expected to be sentenced in January.

The Associated Press

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