May 19, 2006

Deacon Admits Guilt in Sex Assault


The leader of a Maui Catholic church admitted in court he sexually abused a boy for three years. But the deal struck with prosecutors may only send the deacon to prison for a year.

Deacon James Gonsalves pleaded guilty to 30 counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of attempted first-degree sexual assault and 30 counts of third-degree sexual assault.

But under a plea agreement, the 69-year-old would only spend a year in prison, three months under house arrest and 20 years on probation.

The victim, who remains unnamed, says the abuse started in 2002 when he was 12 years old and occurred nearly every day for three years. The assaults happened at St. Ann Church in Waihee and at Gonsalves' home.

Posted by kshaw at May 19, 2006 07:30 AM