Prosecutor calls for priest’s conviction

first_img The case is expected to go to the jury today. Jayson B. claims he was sexually abused by Wempe between 1990 and 1995 at Wempe’s office at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and in two cars. As a young boy, he said, he would sit on Wempe’s lap in front of the computer while the priest typed with one hand and fondled him with the other. He testified that he played games on Wempe’s office computer and remembered the priest using a Windows program. On Wednesday, a technology expert who worked at the hospital testified that Wempe’s computer had not been equipped for video games nor could it run a Windows program. Jurors also heard from Ed Torres, a district attorney’s senior investigator whose written report on an interview with Jayson last March conflicted with much of what the accuser said on the witness stand. Torres admitted to errors in his report. He wrote that Jayson claimed to have been molested in the 1970s and ’80s. He said he knows now that Jayson wasn’t born until 1979. “I must have made a mistake,” the witness said. Wempe, 66, denies molesting Jayson but has acknowledged Jayson’s two older brothers were among 13 boys he abused in the 1970s and 1980s. The former priest cannot be prosecuted for those crimes because the statute of limitations has expired. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A prosecutor urged jurors Thursday to convict a priest of sexual-molestation charges, depicting him as an unrepentant sinner whose crimes wrecked the lives of those he abused. With retired Catholic priest Michael Wempe watching impassively from across the courtroom, Deputy District Attorney Todd Hicks spoke of crimes against many men who have accused the defendant of molesting them. “In this case you can see what he has done to wreck lives,” Hicks said. “You have seen the alcoholism, drug abuse, failed relationships, confusion. You have seen questions and you have seen secrets.” He said many of the men who were molested as boys didn’t come forward until news of a church scandal in Boston triggered their memories. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card In his closing arguments, Hicks told jurors, “It’s time for the defendant to pay for his sins.” After three weeks of accusations from a parade of eight past molestation victims, jurors are being asked to decide whether one additional man, Jayson B., is telling the truth when he says he was abused by Wempe. The eight who testified and five others whom Wempe’s lawyers admit were abused decades ago are not the issue in this first trial of a priest whose past misconduct could not be prosecuted because of legal time limits. Jayson alone, now 26, has brought Wempe to court and his is the only case that could send the former priest to jail. Wempe’s defense lawyer spent the last day of testimony Wednesday casting doubt on Jayson’s veracity, suggesting he made up his story of abuse to avenge his two brothers who were abused by Wempe years earlier. Throughout the trial, the prosecution portrayed the 66-year-old Wempe as a pedophile who habitually preyed on young boys and the defense claiming he was cured during a church-ordered treatment in 1987 and never molested again. last_img

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