April 16, 2006

Court Overturns Ex-Priest's Conviction

ABC News

LOS ANGELES Apr 14, 2006 (AP) A state appeals court has overturned a former Roman Catholic priest's conviction on charges of molesting three boys.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled 2-1 on Thursday that misconduct occurred during Fernando Lopez's trial when the prosecutor expressed her personal opinions to jurors.

Lopez, a Colombian citizen, was found guilty in March 2005 of molesting the boys during a three-year period that began shortly after his transfer to Los Angeles from Rome in 2001.

The majority of the court panel wrote that the prosecutor made improper comments by saying in a rebuttal argument: "I don't think (the defense attorney) is mean or stupid. But I think his client is guilty."

Posted by kshaw at April 16, 2006 05:16 PM