February 18, 2006

Trial opens in priest sex-abuse case

Chicago Tribune

By Josh Noel
Tribune staff reporter
Published February 18, 2006

ELKHORN, Wis. -- Two graying men looked on Friday as a jury was told that Rev. Donald McGuire, an internationally respected Jesuit priest, molested the two nearly 40 years ago when they were teenagers referred to him for counseling at Wilmette's Loyola Academy.

During opening statements of a trial expected to last a week, Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss said the men were victimized while struggling to fit in at the school, and their families thought they would benefit from a priest's attention.

Though Koss told the jury McGuire molested the men repeatedly while they lived with him in his room on campus, the priest is formally accused only of five instances of abuse in Fontana, a resort community near Lake Geneva, between 1966 and 1968.

McGuire, 75, who nodded off several times in court due to what his lawyer called sleep apnea, has pleaded not guilty. Though the priest had few supporters on hand, his defense indicated that far more backers will turn out when testimony begins Monday.

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2006 10:32 AM