February 23, 2006

Priest guilty in child molest case

Monterey County Herald

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Retired Roman Catholic priest and admitted molester Michael Wempe was found guilty Wednesday of one count of child molestation after an emotionally wrenching trial that saw grown men weeping about their childhood abuse.
But the case involved only one victim, Jayson B., who claimed he was 11 when the abuse started. Jurors were unable to reach verdicts on four counts, so a mistrial was declared on those.
Wempe, 66, who was immediately taken into custody, agreed to waive sentencing until the district attorney can decide whether to seek a retrial on the undecided counts.
He faces a sentence of 16 months to three years on the single count. He has already served a year in prison, so that time would be deducted. One of his attorneys said he was diabetic and had a heart condition, so likely would serve his time in a medical unit.
The jury's inability to agree on all charges was telegraphed early in deliberations in a series of questions seeking more information and suggesting skepticism about the testimony of Jayson B.

Posted by kshaw at February 23, 2006 07:50 AM