May 05, 2005

Defrocked priest testifies in sex-abuse case

The Dispatch

By Brian Krans,

Jim Wells got what he wanted Wednesday after decades of denials by his uncle that he sexually abused him in the 1950s and '60s -- a confession.

Defrocked Davenport priest James Janssen, 83, testified in a civil sex-abuse trial that he abused his nephew beginning in 1953 when Mr. Wells was 5 years old.

At first giving a broad-sweeping admission, Mr. Janssen later denied specifics of the allegations.

Judge C.H. Pelton ordered Mr. Janssen to be in the courtroom Wednesday after he was a no-show Tuesday when Mr. Wells, 56, of Bettendorf, testified he was abused for about nine years. He said other boys also were molested while swimming and during naked card games.

"I really did hope he would take responsibility for what he had done," Mr. Wells testified.

Posted by kshaw at May 5, 2005 07:49 AM