Uk: Catholic Priest Sentenced for Sexual Abuse of Boys

By Martin Barillas
Spero News
October 22, 2010

A jury in England found a Catholic priest, John James Robinson, guilty of 21 counts of sexual offenses committed against minors. The 73-year-old man was given a sentence of 21 years in jail. He had fled from the United Kingdom in 1985 to the United States. He had worked in the English diocese of Birmingham for 14 years following his ordination to the priesthood in 1971. He was extradited to the UK after he had been tracked down to a trailer park where he resided.

Following the conviction at the Crown Court, Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham declared "This has been a very difficult time for everybody involved and our thoughts and prayers have been especially with the victims and their families throughout this ordeal." The cleric went on to say that the "Archdiocese of Birmingham sincerely regrets James Robinson’s serious betrayal of the trust placed in him. We wish to express our heartfelt concern for all those who have been involved in this case or affected by it.

According to investigators, Robinson has shown no remorse for his actions. Described as "unimaginably wicked," Robinson began sexually assaulting boys in 1959 in the West Midlands region of England until moving to California in the 1980s. Judge Patrick Thomas told Robinson during the trial "You enjoyed doing your best to habituate them, to groom them into accepting what you did to them..."You were, and are, sufficiently devious, manipulative and bold to have got away with a highly risky sequence of sexual encounters over a period of 25 years."

"We hope that today’s outcome will enable the victims and their families to begin the process of healing and ultimately bring some peace of mind," said Archbishop Longley, who added that his office had cooperated fully with police authorities. While affirming that the Church is committed to the safety of children, the archbishop said "Anyone who has been affected by this case in parishes or the wider community is welcome to contact the Archdiocese of Birmingham Safeguarding Office,".

Of Robinson, Archbishop Longley said, “There is one thing I would like to add: Following today’s sentencing of James Robinson I am about to initiate the Church’s process for



Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.