May 03, 2005

Priest's nephew details sexual abuse

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Todd Ruger

Testimony began today in a trial on a civil lawsuit alleging sexual abuse against a former priest in the Catholic Diocese of Davenport, with James Wells telling the jury about repeated abuse decades ago by James Janssen, his uncle.

Wells told jurors he was sexually abused by Janssen ó who was an active priest from 1948-90 ó in a car, in his house and while swimming, sending him into depression that prevented him from holding a job or getting out of bed some days.

On cross-examination, Janssenís attorney displayed letters Wells wrote to Janssen and the diocese in the late 1980s that mention the possibility of litigation, then asked why Wells hadnít filed his lawsuit at that time.

Posted by kshaw at May 3, 2005 05:04 PM