May 04, 2005

Defrocked priest takes witness stand, admits molesting nephew


By Chris Minor

DAVENPORT -- After 50 years of silence and denials, defrocked priest James Janssen took the witness stand in a Davenport courtroom Wednesday and reluctantly admitted abusing his nephew in the 1950's and 1960's, starting when he was just five years old.

Janssen was ordered to come to court Wednesday and testify at the request of attorneys for his nephew, James Wells, despite the objection of Janssen's lawyer.

Janssen, who was officially kicked out of the priesthood last year amid allegations and lawsuits of sexual abuse, was asked under oath, ''Did you molest Jim Wells and were you his uncle and priest, on Thanksgiving Day, 1953?''

Janssen replied, ''Yes.''

Posted by kshaw at May 4, 2005 05:45 PM