Priest's Sentencing Set in Sex-Abuse Case
A Judge Ruled, However, That the Sole Convict in the Philadelphia Investigation Is Not a Predator
By Nancy Phillips
October 29, 2005
The Rev. James J. Behan, the only priest to be convicted in the Philadelphia grand jury investigation of sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, is to be sentenced Dec. 9, a judge ruled yesterday.
Behan, 61, pleaded guilty to sex charges in February and admitted he had repeatedly assaulted a teenager in the late 1970s, starting when the boy was 15.
Prosecutors charged Behan after successfully arguing that he had stopped the clock on the statute of limitations by leaving the state in 1980.
At a hearing yesterday, Common Pleas Court Judge Pamela Dembe ruled that despite his crimes, Behan is not a "dangerous sexual predator" as defined by state law and thus will not be subjected to monitoring after serving his eventual sentence.
Dembe said she reached that conclusion after reviewing reports by two psychologists who evaluated Behan and reading letters from more than 325 supporters, including parents of children the priest had taught or ministered to over the years. In the more than two decades since Behan assaulted the boy, the judge said, "there have been no further crimes committed."
In part for that reason, Dembe rejected the prosecutor's request to classify Behan as a predator, a label that would have toughened his sentence.
Behan, a member of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, has been barred from public ministry and now lives in Childs, Md.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems