Priest Sentenced on Morals Charges
November 25, 1986
Westminster, CA (UPI)
A Roman Catholic priest convicted of molesting four altar boys must spend five years probation in a rehabilitation program during which he cannot be alone with a minor, a judge ruled.
Superior Court Judge Louis Cardenas, after reviewing psychological evaluations and a recommendation from the Orange County Probation Department, ordered the Rev. Andrew Christian Andersen on Monday to spenbd his probation in a special program for priests.
Andersen, 34, waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to 28 counts of molesting four altar boys at St. Bonaventure's Church from 1983 to 1986. He said he wanted to save the children from the ordeal of having to testify.
In handing down the sentence, Cardenas openly chastised members of Andersens parish who had written numerous letters to the court on the priest's behalf.
"I know most of you don't want to believe that Father Andersen has admitted to committing these acts," the judge told about 50 of the priest's supporters who crowed the courtroom. "You must deal with that rather than walking into the community...and blaming the boys that they fabricated the story."
District Attorney Michael Koski, who had asked the judge to sentence Andersen to prison, said the priest violated the sacredness of his position as a clergyman.
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