May 05, 2005

Ex-priest Janssen admits abuse

Des Moines Register


May 5, 2005
Davenport, Ia. - James Janssen, the defrocked Davenport priest who defiantly denied sexual abuse allegations by some 20 men, admitted Wednesday on the witness stand that he abused one of the men as a boy.

Janssen, 83, testified after a judge ordered him to be in the courtroom Wednesday. He had been absent Tuesday when the plaintiff, a 56-year-old man who accuses Janssen of abusing him as a child, testified.

The man and several others accused Janssen of four decades of child sexual abuse and accused the Davenport Catholic Diocese of moving him from parish to parish and keeping the allegations secret for decades.

A group of 37 people settled with the diocese for $9 million in October 2004, However, several people still have civil lawsuits pending against Janssen and other priests.

Janssen was the first Iowa priest to be removed involuntarily from the priesthood.

On the witness stand, the former priest acknowledged the abuse, but said he could not recall specific incidents.

Posted by kshaw at May 5, 2005 07:40 AM