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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Child-molesting priest gets probation

    A Common Pleas Court judge, dabbing tears from her eyes as she told of agonizing over "the right thing to do," sentenced a Roman Catholic priest yesterday to 12 years of probation in the only criminal case arising from the church sex-abuse scandal in Philadelphia. The district attorney, in response, said she was "appalled and disappointed."

    The sins of the father were forgiven - and almost forgotten - yesterday.

    The Rev. James Behan, the area's only Catholic priest convicted in the church's sex scandal, had faced up to 25 years in a state penitentiary for repeatedly abusing a North Catholic High School student for two years in the late 1970s.

    He was sentenced to just 12 years' probation.

    The prosecutor asked that the molesting priest be sent to prison for 11 to 22 years. The defense attorney wanted him set free to return to his duties of changing "soiled diapers" and cleaning bathrooms for elderly priests.

    The family of victim Martin Donohoe accused the judge of basing her ruling on emotion, not law.

    District Attorney Lynne Abraham said she was "appalled and disappointed" by the light sentence.

    "This is a sad day for Mr. Donohoe and for all victims of sexual abuse," Abraham said in a statement.

    She explained that she determined the priest's punishment by weighing the bad he did against the good. The good won out.

    The Rev. James Behan, 61, pleaded guilty in February to repeatedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy, a student at North Catholic High School, in the late 1970s.

    Judge Pamela Dembe's courtroom, packed with Behan supporters who traveled by bus from Wilmington, N.C., home of Behan's last parish, echoed with sighs of relief. Supporters hugged each other, many saying, "Thank God it's over."

    Gene Donohoe, whose younger brother, Martin, was the victim, said the sentence surprised the family.

    "The judge made a decision, and we have to live with it," he said.
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?

    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    What the judge did doesn't lessen the abuse. Someone is suffering and that someone has had a life changing experience. Whether they will go forward with other changes or accept their lot in life is up to them. The ones with the courage will go forward. Those people will be the guiding light for others. Not denigrating anyone but if you don't acknowledge then you can't pursue. Courage to those that pursue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Freakin judge should be in jail.

    How could she not sentence him??
    Is this how she treats all child molestors?? Or possibly she is guilty of the same thing that everyone else who turned a blind eye over these cases is?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    In heels
    Would you want the POS Priest looking after your elderly relative, changing their diapers?

    No way he's a sex offender