John Kunco reaches plea deal keeping him out of prison in child sex abuse case |

John Kunco reaches plea deal keeping him out of prison in child sex abuse case

Jamie Martines

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office in a plea deal Thursday dropped several child sex assault charges against a man awaiting a retrial on an unrelated rape conviction.

John Kunco, 54, a former Harrison resident who most recently lived in McKees Rocks, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of indecent assault against an unconscious person.

The district attorney dropped the most serious charges against Kunco, including felony counts of aggravated indecent assault of a child and an unconscious person, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors, as well as misdemeanor assault and child endangerment charges.

Kunco was released from prison in May 2018 after a Westmoreland County Common Pleas judge vacated a rape conviction for which he spent 28 years in prison. New York-based attorneys with the Innocence Project, an organization that specializes in overturning wrongful convictions, led the appeal in that case.

Kunco was placed back behind bars last August after he was accused of improper sexual contact with a child in McKees Rocks following his prison release.

Kunco appeared before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jill Rangos on Thursday, waiving his right to a trial and pleading guilty to the misdemeanor.

The charge will carry five years of probation. Kunco also must register as a Tier 2 sex offender for 25 years and may not have any contact with the victim.

Several family members were in court Thursday to support Kunco but declined to comment. Public Defender Stacey Steiner, who represented Kunco, told the court that family members are ready to help with his rehabilitation.

“John does have a great deal of familial support,” Steiner said.

A retrial has not been scheduled in the unrelated Westmoreland County case.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jamie at 724-850-2867, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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