April 28, 2005

Ex-area priest admits guilt in theft, sex case

The Express-Times

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Pottsville Republican

PORT CARBON -- A Roman Catholic priest who formerly served in Easton pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft and sexual abuse of children.

Ronald J. Yarrosh, stationed in Schuylkill Haven until his arrest, appeared before Schuylkill County President Judge William E. Baldwin on charges of theft, receiving stolen property, criminal use of a communication facility and 101 counts of sexual abuse of children.

Although each of the charges carried a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine, Yarrosh will serve only between three and 23 months in prison under a plea agreement reached with the county district attorney's office. The three- to 23-month sentence is for the theft charge and includes $250 in fines and $23,629 in restitution to the parish where Yarrosh was stationed.

The charge of receiving stolen property merged with the theft charge, Baldwin said. Assistant District Attorney Karen Byrnes-Noon said the commonwealth agreed to lessen the 101 sexual abuse counts to three counts for the sake of record-keeping in the clerk of courts office.

She said three counts will include one for all the pornographic tapes recovered, the second for pornographic books and the third for pornographic photographs. Baldwin ordered Yarrosh to serve five years probation consecutive to the theft charge on the first count, and then five years concurrent probation on each of the two additional charges.

Posted by kshaw at April 28, 2005 04:56 AM