Priest Sentenced in Sex-Abuse Case
Suffering Cancer, Man Welcomes Own Death

By Tallahassee Democrat
December 24, 2004

Priest sentenced on LI sex abuse charge, welcomes own death A Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to repeatedly molesting a 6-year-old Long Island boy was sentenced to two years in prison but is likely to die before he is incarcerated, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Barry E. Ryan, 56, of Palm City, who is suffering from terminal cancer, apologized to the victim's family and begged for forgiveness before being sentenced by Suffolk County Court Judge Ralph Gazzillo.

"I've repaid your love with this terrible thing that I've done," Ryan said, according to Newsday's Web site. "I beg your forgiveness. I welcome my own death. I'm sorry."

Assistant District Attorney Rosamaria Abbate said it was likely Ryan would never see the inside of a prison because his illness may take his life before he surrenders to serve his term. The judge set July 7 as the surrender date.

Ryan pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual conduct against a child, admitting he molested the boy during visits in the boy's home between May and October 2003.

He has not been attached to any parish or performed any priestly duties since 1995, when he was discharged from the U.S. Air Force.

Ryan, ordained in 1976, enlisted as a chaplain in the Air Force in 1984. Before that he worked at parishes in the Brooklyn diocese.


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