March 22, 2005

Man testifies that abuse by priest ruined his entire life

San Francisco Chronicle

Stacy Finz, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

After years of sexual abuse at the hands of his priest, Dennis Kavanaugh spiraled from being his parents' golden child -- a top athlete, a promising intellectual and a devout Catholic -- to a convicted felon who had lost his belief in God, according to testimony Monday.

Now, he wants the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco to pay.

Last week, a jury found that the church knew or should have known that the late Rev. Joseph Pritchard was molesting boys in Kavanaugh's San Jose parish, St. Martin of Tours, in the early 1970s, and had done nothing to stop it.

This week, that same jury began the damages phase of the case, hearing testimony about Kavanaugh's problems with intimacy and a divorce three years ago that was so bitter that he stole a loaded gun, held it on his wife and threatened to kill her. He was later convicted and served a year in prison. Since that time he went from a $90,000-a- year Silicon Valley semiconductor salesman to a $16-an-hour gardener.

Posted by kshaw at March 22, 2005 08:26 AM