Teen’s mother testifies that priest gave her son gifts, was ‘part of our family’


By Lance Benzel Published: June 27, 2013

A former Colorado Springs priest being tried on charges of sexually assaulting a teenage altar boy was considered “part of our family,” the boy’s mother told a jury Thursday while choking back tears.

Testifying on the third day of the prosecution’s case against the Rev. Charles Robert “Bob” Manning, the woman said the then-pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church was a frequent guest at the family home.

“Holidays. Dinners. Everything,” the woman said. “I included him as part of our family.”

According to earlier testimony, the accuser was 14 when he sent an email to St. Gabriel’s, 8755 Scarborough Drive, saying that he wanted to explore Catholicism.

Manning, 78, has pleaded not guilty to all counts, with his attorneys portraying him the victim of false allegations by the boy, who became an altar server during the course of one-on-one tutelage by Manning in his church office.

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