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Diocese Names 5-Member Abuse Board In Pact With Prosecutor

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Riccardo De Luca
/
AP
The St. Peter's Basilica is silhouetted at dusk, at the Vatican, Thursday, June 29, 2017. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has created a board to oversee child-sex abuse cases.

 A Roman Catholic diocese has appointed a five-member board to oversee its handling of child-sex abuse allegations against clergy as part of an agreement with the federal prosecutor who oversees western Pennsylvania.

U.S. Attorney Soo Song announced the agreement in March with Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Bartchak after allegations of a decades long abuse cover-up. Song's predecessor had threatened to sue the diocese under a federal racketeering statute if reforms weren't enacted.

The board includes James W. Brown, former chief of staff to Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and his father, former Gov. Bob Casey; Walter "Pete" Carson, a former state police investigator; Eileen Dombo, a professor and assistant dean at The Catholic University of America; Mary Herwig, an abuse victim turned advocate; and J. Alan Johnson, a former federal prosecutor from Pittsburgh.

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