January 13, 2006

Ex-priest gets 111 years for molestation

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 13, 2006 02:55 PM

A former West Valley priest was sentenced Friday to the maximum 111 years in prison by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge after an hour and a half of emotional testimony by victims.

Rev. Paul LeBrun, 49, a former youth minister, was the first Valley priest accused of sex crimes against children to risk a long prison sentence by taking his case to a jury.

LeBrun faced a minimum sentence of 81 years He was sentenced by Judge Crane McClennen after a November trial in which 10 victims testified.

Jurors found LeBrun guilty of three counts of sexual conduct with a minor and three of child molestation. He was found not guilty on one child molestation charge and jurors hung on five other sex charges.

The accusations involved six boys ranging in age from 11 to 13 years old and the alleged acts occurred between 1986 and 1991 at St. John Vianney Church in Avondale, Blessed Sacrament in Tolleson, and on camping trips.

During the trial, victims described how LeBrun abused his position to win their trust, only to molest them.

Posted by kshaw at January 13, 2006 05:00 PM