January 15, 2005

Court won't throw out priest's assault convictions

APPLETON (WI)
Pioneer Press

Associated Press

APPLETON, Wis. A judge refused to set aside some felony convictions Friday that landed a 77-year-old Roman Catholic priest in prison for 15 years.

A jury convicted John Patrick Feeney in February of three counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of attempted sexual assault of a child for incidents that involved two brothers, ages 12 and 14, in 1978.

Feeney, who was parish priest at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Freedom at the time, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

During a 30-minute hearing Friday, Outagamie County Circuit Judge Dennis Luebke rejected arguments from Feeney's attorney that the six-year statute of limitations to be charged had expired. The priest's attorney said although Feeney left Wisconsin in 1983, he was still employed by the Green Bay Diocese and technically remained a Wisconsin resident.

Posted by kshaw at January 15, 2005 08:39 AM