A PRIEST accused of sexual activity with a schoolgirl has been cleared after the allegations were dramatically dropped.

John Sweeney, 45, was accused of committing the offence between September 2016 and June 2017.

Sweeney was a priest at St Maria Goretti Roman Catholic church in Glasgow’s Cranhill at the time.

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He also served as a chaplain at a secondary school in the city where the girl was a pupil.

Sweeney on Thursday went on trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

The girl - who was under 18 at the time - gave evidence to jurors before prosecutor Harry Findlay later said he was withdrawing the charges.

Sweeney - who denied the accusations - was formally acquitted by Sheriff Andrew Cubie.

Prosecutors claimed Sweeney repeatedly engaged in sexual activity with the schoolgirl while in a position of trust.

He was accused of kissing and cuddling the girl as well as sending naked pictures of himself.

It was further alleged the girl was supplied with alcohol and asked about her sexual history by Sweeney.

Sweeney faced a separate charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner at a parish house in the city.

The charge claimed Sweeney swore, uttered sectarian remarks as well as repeatedly make a threatening gesture in October 2016.

The girl - now a 21-year-old student - gave evidence at the trial.

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She claimed Sweeney “would often attend” a religious event at the school in his role as chaplain for a “normal chat.”

Prosecutor Harry Findlay asked if Sweeney was ever specifically part of the programme.

The girl replied: “Not officially. It was just because he was the chaplain that he came in.”

She claimed the event was instead run by two teachers at the school.

The girl also stated Sweeney helped her get a job at a deli as well as with her university application.

There was then a 30 minute adjournment in the trial.

Fiscal Mr Findlay returned to eventually state to the court: "I formally withdraw the libel."

Sheriff Cubie then allowed Sweeney, of the city's Royston, to leave the dock.