Boy Testifies in Hearing of Priest

United Press International
July 8, 1987

An 11-year-old boy testified in Lancaster County Court Wednesday that he was too afraid to flee from a Lincoln priest who allegedly sexually assaulted him on June 4.

The boy testified for more than two hours in the preliminary hearing of the Rev. Paul Margand, 30, a priest at St. Teresa's Catholic Church in Lincoln.

Margand has been charged with two counts of having sexual contact with a child and one count of first-degree false imprisonment. He is accused of forcing two boys -- on separate occasions -- to lie on the floor, one in the rectory and the other in altar boys' changing room, and rubbing against them with his body.

The boy said the incident of which Margand is accused occurred on June 4 after the boy completed an altar boys' class taught by the priest. Five other boys in the class had gone home when Margand asked the boy to stay and help him clean up, the boy testified.

The boy said that from about 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Margand tickled him and rubbed against him.

Margand did not remove either his clothing or the boy's, the boy said.

Margand spread the boy's legs with his own as he lay on him, the boy said.

During the alleged assault, which occurred in the rectory, Margand was interrupted four times, once by a telephone call, twice by visitors to the rectory and the fourth time because Margand wanted to make photocopies of pictures of holy figures, the boy testified.

Each time Margand allegedly returned to put the boy on the floor and lie on top of him in the living room of the rectory, the boy testified.

During one interruption, the boy had an opportunity to flee out the front door but said he could not.

"I was getting real scared," the boy said. "I thought of leaving, but it was like my legs wouldn't get up or anything. They were frozen."

The priest put the boy in a headlock, then dragged him into the dining room, where he threw the boy over his shoulder and took him into the living room, the boy testified.

After an hour, Margand agreed to let the boy call his mother.

"I felt kind of nauseated, kind of sick to my stomach," the boy testified.

The boy said he told his mother about the alleged assault immediately after getting in the car to go home.

The mother of the boy who testified Wednesday and the other boy who allegedly was assaulted and his mother are expected to testify when the preliminary hearing continues Friday.

Margand, who has been suspended from his duties, has remained free on bond with the stipulation that he have no contact with children younger than 16.


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