Ex-Priest Gets 111 Years for Molestation

The Arizona Republic [Arizona]
January 13, 2006

A West Valley priest was sentenced Friday to the maximum 111 years in prison by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge after an hour and a half of emotional testimony by victims.

Rev. Paul LeBrun, 49, a former youth minister, was the first Valley priest accused of sex crimes against children to risk a long prison sentence by taking his case to a jury.

LeBrun faced a minimum sentence of 81 years He was sentenced by Judge Crane McClennen after a November trial in which 10 victims testified. advertisement

Jurors found LeBrun guilty of three counts of sexual conduct with a minor and three of child molestation. He was found not guilty on one child molestation charge and jurors hung on five other sex charges.

The accusations involved six boys ranging in age from 11 to 13 years old and the alleged acts occurred between 1986 and 1991 at St. John Vianney Church in Avondale, Blessed Sacrament in Tolleson, and on camping trips.

During the trial, victims described how LeBrun abused his position to win their trust, only to molest them.

A unique aspect of the trial was McClennen's decision to allow four victims from Indiana to testify to show that LeBrun had a propensity to abuse young boys.

LeBrun was not charged in Indiana with any crimes because the statute of limitation had run out. He could not be prosecuted under Arizona law for any acts in Indiana.


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