May 03, 2005

Jury selected for ex-priest’s trial

Quad-City Times

By Todd Ruger

Opening statements are scheduled for this morning in a civil lawsuit filed by a Davenport man who alleges sexual abuse by his uncle, a former priest in the Catholic Diocese of Davenport.

Attorneys spent all day Monday selecting eight jurors and two alternates from a pool of 56 potential jurors to hear the case in which James Wells alleges sexual abuse decades ago by James Janssen, an active priest from 1948-90.

A questionnaire for potential jurors set the tone for questions by the attorneys for the estimated week-long trial. The questions touched on issues such as sexual abuse of minors, religion and mental health.

Defrocked priest James Janssen, right, sits alongside his attorney, Edward Wehr during jury selection Monday.

“The questions and answers of which aren’t usually done in polite company,” District Judge C.H. Pelton said of the questionnaire. “There is going to be graphic detail (in the testimony), and we don’t clean it up.”

Posted by kshaw at May 3, 2005 05:35 AM