May 06, 2006

Retired Catholic priest gets 3 years for child molestation

The Desert Sun

Robert Jablon
The Associated Press
May 6, 2006

LOS ANGELES - Retired Roman Catholic priest Michael Wempe was sentenced to three years in state prison Friday on one count of child molestation in a case that began with his admission that he had sexually abused many other boys decades ago.

Superior Court Judge Curtis B. Rappe sentenced the 66-year-old priest to the maximum term allowed by law, but that was reduced to just 479 days after deductions for the time he already served behind bars and credits for prison work and good behavior.

The defense estimated Wempe could be paroled in half that time.

He also was fined $600 and must register as a sex offender.

Wempe said nothing at the hearing, and defense attorney Leonard Levine said his client would not make statements of remorse because they would sound "hollow" and because of a pending lawsuit against Wempe.

"There are no winners in this case," Levine said. "There are just people trying to put their lives back here and move on."

Posted by kshaw at May 6, 2006 09:23 AM