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Greensburg family charged with concealing runaway girl for 12 days

November 24, 2018

Three members of a Greensburg family were accused Thursday of concealing and keeping a 16-year-old runaway who was reported missing Oct. 4 from a group home in McKeesport.

John T. Dreveniak, 28; his father, Thomas M., 63; and mother, Esther N., 59, were charged by Greensburg Det. Sgt. John Swank with felony counts of concealment of the whereabouts of a child and interference with the custody of children for allegedly hiding the girl inside their apartment in the 300 block of Harrison Avenue from Oct. 4 until Oct. 16.

John Dreveniak befriended the girl and invited her to his residence after being introduced by a mutual friend in Greensburg the same day she ran away, Swank said.

He is accused of sexually abusing the teenager and providing her with alcohol and marijuana while she stayed with them, according to an affidavit. He is charged with two counts of corruption of minors and single counts of false imprisonment of a child, endangering the welfare of children, manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance and furnishing alcohol to a minor.

“McKeesport Police received a tip that the girl was living in Greensburg and they, along with officers with our department, went to the residence and removed her,” Swank said.

John and Thomas Dreveniak were arraigned before District Judge Chris Flanigan and ordered held in the Westmoreland County Prison after failing to post $125,000 and $65,000 bonds, respectively. Police are searching for Esther Dreveniak, Swank said.

Swank filed the complaints Thursday after interviewing the girl at the Westmoreland County Youth Shelter.

She told investigators that she and Dreveniak had sex “over 10 times.”

“She said (John) Dreveniak gave her marijuana. (The victim) said that Dreveniak wanted her to engage in group sex with some of his male and female friends but she refused,” Swank wrote.

Police say the girl told them she saw the elder Dreveniaks consuming multiple drugs, including marijuana, Suboxone, crack cocaine and multiple pain pills when she stayed with them, but she only smoked marijuana. She told investigators the Dreveniaks told her they “took runaways in all the time” and provided her with clothes from their closet “that fit her perfectly.”

Swank said the girl declined to identify the person who provided her a ride from the group home in McKeesport to Greensburg.

“She felt like she had to go along with sex as (John) was cooking and providing her with a place to stay. (She) said if police had not found her, she was planning on running from the apartment as the situation was very uncomfortable and she felt like she could not run away ... and they began introducing her as John’s 18-year-old girlfriend,” Swank wrote.

Swank alleges in court documents that all of the Dreveniaks knew the girl was 16.

John Dreveniak declined comment to a reporter as he was led into Flanigan’s office for arraignment.

Thomas Dreveniak indicated that he was innocent of the allegations.

“I don’t know what I’m here for, to tell you the truth,” he said.

Both Dreveniaks told Flanigan they planned to apply for public defenders. Preliminary hearings were tentatively scheduled Nov. 15.

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