Court Adjudicated Youth Home Worker Facing Institutional Sex Assault Charge

UNION TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A former staff member at a Westmoreland County youth home is accused of having sex with one of the teenage residents.

According to the criminal complaint, the incident happened at the Adelphoi Sweeney Home for court adjudicated youth in Unity Township on Feb. 23.

An employee had become suspicious of some “inappropriate” behavior between an 18-year-old resident and 31-year-old Kelly Zawodniak.

The employee said the two had been talking and walking around together for most of the day. Around 8 p.m., the resident asked to do some extra cleaning in the laundry room to earn some community service.

Zawodniak offered to monitor the resident.

When the other employee had finished handing out medications, they made their way downstairs to check on the resident and Zawodniak.

As the employee approached the laundry room, they observed the two having sex.

“While she was with this particular person that’s 18-year-old, she was supposed to be supervising them, she went down to the laundry room and while she was in the laundry room they started to have consensual sexual intercourse,” said Trooper Stephen Limani, of Pennsylvania State Police.

While being questioned by the employee, Zawodniak stated, “I am so [expletive] stupid/so [expletive] fired and I can’t lose my kids over this.”

According to the criminal complaint, both the resident and Zawodniak said the incident was consensual.

She is also being investigated in an incident involving a 16-year-old male at the Adelphoi Monastery Run House in Latrobe.

In that case, she allegedly wrote love letters to the resident and attempted to hug him in the laundry room.

“She was leaving him notes on his pillow, many different notes that were very… the were sexual in nature. They were definitely inappropriate,” said Trooper Limani.

According to state police, Zawodniak hadn’t worked for Adelphoi for very long.

“She was there, from what I understand, she was there for eight days. So, in her eight days of employment, she chose two different males, one being 16-years-old, to try and engage them in some type of sexual activity,” Trooper Limani said.

Zawodniak, who state police characterize as a predator, was not in the mood to comment after her preliminary arraignment on Wednesday.

“I don’t wanna talk to anybody, get out of my face, don’t wanna talk to anybody,” she said as she was getting in her vehicle.

She is facing a list of charges including, institutional sexual assault and corruption of minors.

Zawodniak remains free on her on recognizance. If she’s convicted of all the charges, she could face up to 15 years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.

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