January 17, 2006

Priest's trial on abuse charges set to begin

Ventura County Star

By Stephanie Hoops, shoops@VenturaCountyStar.com
January 17, 2006

Win or lose, there will be ghosts to face before disgraced priest Michael Wempe's criminal trial comes to an end.

A lineup of men whom Wempe is alleged to have abused while working as a member of the Roman Catholic clergy will be on hand to take the stand as his trial gets under way in Los Angeles today.

"I'll have six men testify to events that happened to them spanning from the middle 1970s to the late 1980s," said Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Todd Hicks. "After those six testify, I'll have the alleged victim testify to things that happened to him in the early- to mid-1990s involving the defendant."

The alleged victim whose charges will be the focus of the proceeding is the youngest of three brothers, two of whom first came forward with claims that Wempe molested them. But the eldest two brothers' claims were dubbed too old and thrown out with several other peoples' after a 2003 opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Posted by kshaw at January 17, 2006 12:33 PM