March 30, 2005

Ex-altar boy describes priest's 'tickling' game

San Francisco Chronicle

Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion Writer

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Mabis Wood, a founding member of St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Antioch, couldn't understand why her 13-year-old son, Troy, suddenly refused to go anywhere near "Father Bob."

It was 1982. Troy had always looked up to the priest, the Rev. Robert Ponciroli, as a second father. He'd served as one of his parish altar boys and volunteered to cut the grass outside his suburban rectory.

"Troy started having all these excuses for not going over to cut the lawn, '' Mabis Wood recalled in a Hayward courtroom Tuesday. "He didn't want to be around the church and he did not want to talk about why.''

Wood and her husband questioned their son and found out why.

Troy Wood explained the reason in court himself on Tuesday. He said he had been enticed up to the priest's bed, told to take off his shirt and grabbed from behind for an extended round of "tickling."

Posted by kshaw at March 30, 2005 03:43 PM