April 11, 2005

Ex-Catholic priest imprisoned for 10 years for sexual abuse of teen

The Hindu

Sydney, April. 11 (AP): A disgraced former Catholic priest was imprisoned on Monday for 10 years for sexually abusing a teenage altar boy.

James Fletcher, 64, was convicted last December on nine charges of abusing the child between 1989 and 1991 in his parish in the Hunter Valley wine growing region north of Sydney.

Describing the abuse as a ``gross and inexcusable'' breach of trust, New South Wales District Court Judge Graham Armitage, sentenced Fletcher to a maximum of 10 years and ruled he must serve at least seven and a half years.

In earlier testimony, the victim said ``he had never felt pain like it in his life'' when he first had sex with Fletcher and had looked at a Saint Christopher medal in the priest's car during the ordeal, Armitage said.

Fletcher then warned the boy ``no one would believe him (if he told) because priests never lied,'' Armitage said.

Posted by kshaw at April 11, 2005 07:05 AM