Ex-Priest to Stand Trial in Sex-Assault Case

By Sue Lindsay
Rocky Mountain News [Colorado]
January 13, 2006,1299,DRMN_15_4385540,00.html

A 72-year-old former Episcopalian priest and foster parent who recently won a new trial on sexual assault charges was ordered Thursday to stand trial on new charges involving another boy.

Donald Shissler is charged with eight counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and as a pattern of conduct.

The alleged victim in the new case was a boy who visited Shissler's Denver home with many other children, prosecutor Kerri Lombardi said. Authorities say the assaults took place from 1997 to 2002, when Shissler was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting two other boys at his home.

The assaults in the new case are alleged to have started when the boy was a 6-year-old first-grader and continued to age 11.

The boy told investigators that he was fondled "about 100 times" at Shissler's home during those years and that Shissler was "messing with his privates all the time," according to testimony at a preliminary hearing in Denver County Court.

Investigator Lorri Brovsky said the boy was very reluctant to tell what happened.

"He was obviously pretty uncomfortable," she said. "It was apparent he greatly loved and admired the defendant and didn't want to talk about this."

Lombardi said that more than 250 nude photos of the victim and other boys were found in the home, along with videotapes taken by Shissler, who also was naked. Some of the photos dated back to the 1970s, she said.

"There are many, many, many other victims," she said.

The boys told police that Shissler routinely was naked in his home when the boys visited to play pool, video games and use his hot tub.

Denver County Judge Alfred Harrell refused to reduce Shissler's $150,000 bond in the case, saying he is a danger to the community.

"He insinuated himself into the community as a person who is to be trusted, who was in the priesthood, who was a foster parent," Harrell said.

Shissler is due back in court on both cases Feb. 2. or 303-892-5181


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