May 05, 2005

Janssen admits to abuse

Quad-City Times

By Todd Ruger

A former priest admitted before a Scott County jury Wednesday that he sexually abused his underage nephew decades ago and committed the acts so many times he could not remember specific incidents.

But James Janssen, 83, of Davenport, also denied during his testimony many of the particular instances of abuse alleged by his nephew James Wells, now 56, of Bettendorf, who testified Tuesday in his civil lawsuit against Janssen.

Janssen responded “yes” when asked by Wells’ attorney, Craig Levien, whether Janssen fondled Wells and masturbated during a nap after a family Thanksgiving dinner in 1953.

However, the former Catholic Diocese of Davenport priest repeatedly said, “I don’t recall that” or flatly denied Wells’ accounts of being fondled while swimming in the Mississippi River with a group of boys, in a car parked on a rural road, in a bathtub and on a roller coaster at an amusement park.

Posted by kshaw at May 5, 2005 07:53 AM