February 09, 2006

Ex-Priest's Pedophilia Trial Winding Down

Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer

The sworn testimony of eight men who said they were victims of admitted sexual predator Michael Edwin Wempe is more than enough evidence to convict the retired Roman Catholic priest, a prosecutor told jurors this morning.

"As you can see, ladies and gentleman, the defendant's crimes are terrible," Deputy Dist. Atty. Todd Hicks said today. "His sins are terrible. He has wrecked peoples' lives. He has caused a lot of pain.

"It's time the defendant pays for his sins."

Wempe is now on trial before a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury on five counts of molestation. If convicted, he could face up to 16 years in prison.

Closing arguments were wrapping up. The trial was ending as it began three weeks ago: Wempe, 66, sitting red-faced, silently weeping as he heard the allegations from a series of men he admits he molested as boys.

Wempe has denied harming the one victim he's on trial for molesting. He cannot legally be prosecuted for the other cases.

Posted by kshaw at February 9, 2006 04:51 PM