April 28, 2006

Court Reverses N.J. Priestís Child Molestation Conviction

Gay City News

A three-judge panel of the New Jersey Appellate Division has reversed an aggravated criminal sexual contact conviction of a Catholic priest, referred to in court papers as Michael F., on the ground that the jury was improperly exposed to testimony about his sexual orientation. Michael was arrested in 2001, on charges that he had sexually abused the teenage son of a parishioner, in social situations in which the boy claimed sexual physical contact, but which the priest said were innocuous.

The jury convicted Michael, who claimed several trial errors on appeal, among them that the trial judge should have excluded from evidence a statement he made to the police upon his arrest that he is homosexual and struggling with his identity.

Posted by kshaw at April 28, 2006 03:43 AM