9 Jan 2008

Former Priest Sentenced to 180 Days in Jail

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP)-- Defrocked priest James Janssen was sentenced Tuesday to 180 days in jail for contempt of court.

Janssen was ordered to produce $80,000 in savings bonds as part of a judgment in a lawsuit filed against him by his nephew, who claimed he had been abused by Janssen over a nine-year period from 1953 to 1962.

A jury ordered Janssen in 2005 to pay $1.9 million to his nephew for years of abuse.

Janssen and his sister had invested more than $700,000 in savings bonds. A review of Janssen's financial records showed all but $80,000 was accounted for and Janssen was ordered in November by Scott County District Judge Bobbi Alpers to produce the savings bonds or be found in contempt of court.

On Tuesday, Alpers found Janssen had not complied with her order and sentenced him to 180 days in jail.

He must report to jail by 10 a.m. Wednesday.

During trial in the lawsuit, Janssen, who has been named in several clergy abuse lawsuits, admitted the abuse only to recant it the following day.

He was defrocked by Pope John Paul II in September 2004.http://www.woi-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=

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