Former Philadelphia Priest Pleads Guilty to Decades-old Sex Assaults of Altar Boys in Bucks County
By Vinny Vella
July 8, 2020
|David Maialetti / Staff Photographer|
After years of dodging allegations of abusing children, a former Catholic priest pleaded guilty Wednesday to molesting two altar boys in Bucks County decades ago.
Francis Trauger, 74, admitted his guilt to two counts of indecent assault of a minor, and Bucks County Judge Jeffrey L. Finley sentenced him to 18 to 36 months in a state prison and seven years’ probation.
Despite being named in multiple grand jury reports on the sexual abuse of children by priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Trauger had not been prosecuted until the case that led to Wednesday’s guilty plea.
Trauger did not speak during the hour-long hearing, which played out in a mostly empty courtroom, with only a few onlookers and a huddle of journalists.
His attorney, Brian McVann, said that the defrocked priest’s conduct “cannot be defended” and that Trauger felt compelled to admit his guilt and take responsibility for his actions.
“He has done great good in his life,” McVann said. “Unfortunately, it has been lost in this case.”