January 18, 2006

Jury choice begins in priest's trial

LA Daily News

Daily News Staff and Wire Services

Jury selection got under way Tuesday in Los Angeles for the trial of a former Roman Catholic priest charged with molesting a boy in the early 1990s.

Michael Wempe, 65, who was assigned to parishes in Palmdale, Ventura and Westlake Village and taught at a Catholic high school in Lancaster, faces up to 16 years in prison if convicted of five felony counts, according to Deputy District Attorney Todd Hicks.

Two brothers of the alleged victim and six other accusers are expected to testify that they also were molested by Wempe when they were boys, Hicks said.

Their testimony will help demonstrate that Wempe had a history of abusing young boys, he said.

Posted by kshaw at January 18, 2006 08:30 AM