Thursday, February 26, 2009

Witnesses testify against ex-priest

Archive for Friday, October 10, 2008
Explicit talk about abuse
Witnesses testify against ex-priest
By David HeinzmannOctober 10, 2008
While an ex-priest’s lawyer tried to present his client’s chief accuser as a gold digger pursuing a lawsuit, prosecutors bombarded jurors Friday with explicit testimony about how Rev. Donald McGuire talked constantly of sex with adolescent boys in his care and exposed them to pornography and daily nude rubdowns with baby oil.The sexual environment created by McGuire confused the boys about his advances and made them feel shameful and fearful about speaking out, two of the priest’s former teenage “personal assistants” testified at his federal trial.Jurors sat stone-faced for much of the graphic testimony, but by the end of the afternoon, many appeared to stare at the 78-year-old defendant for long periods.Once a renowned Jesuit, McGuire is charged with engaging in sex with a boy beginning when he was 13 in 1999. The boy, identified in court only as Dominick, traveled with McGuire on retreats all over the world after his family sent him to live with the priest in Evanston.The sexual abuse, including the massages, showering together and oral sex, began almost immediately, he testified.Dominick said he felt nobody would listen if he complained about abuse because of McGuire’s stature in Catholic circles. “To go against McGuire would be to go against an empire,” he said.McGuire’s attorney, Stephen Komie, peppered Dominick with dozens of questions about his personal finances, arguing that he had spent his life living off others and suggesting he concocted the accusations to win money from the Jesuits.Komie argued that Dominick did not approach law enforcement until after he had hired a private attorney to pursue damages. Dominick acknowledged that he went to authorities last year on the advice of his private attorney, Kevin McGuire, a nephew of the defrocked priest.However, Assistant U.S. Atty. Julie Ruder later showed jurors an e-mail claiming sexual abuse that Dominick sent to a psychologist in October 2006, months before he contacted an attorney.Dominick testified that he finally spoke up because he was having trouble with intimacy with his girlfriend—now his wife.McGuire is charged with sexually abusing the one alleged victim, but three other accusers have been allowed to testify. A 32-year-old California man, who was a personal assistant to McGuire in the late 1980s, testified Friday how the priest sexually assaulted him at age 14 in a motel room during a road trip to Ohio. The man described his sexual abuse in nearly identical terms as the other

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