Former Priest Gets 10 Years for Abuse

Gary Post-Tribune
January 26, 2011,wigglesworth-ptb-0126.article

A Valparaiso resident and former priest will serve at least 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in a case accusing him of trying to have sex with a a 15-year-old boy.

According to a plea agreement filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond, Wayne Wigglesworth will plead guilty to one count of coercion. That count comes with a statutory minimum of 10 years.

U.S. prosecutors will recommend he receive the minimum of the sentencing guideline range in exchange for his cooperation, according to the agreement.

Wigglesworth was arrested in August 2009 in Chicago after his car was pulled over. The boy was sitting in the car and eventually told police he had met Wigglesworth in an online chat site, according to court records.

Wigglesworth, then 68, had told the boy he was 43 and wanted to meet him, court records said.

Police have said Wigglesworth several times called a 9-year-old boy he had met at his wife's nursing home, despite being told not to.

The accusations came after he served as an ordained priest in Baltimore from 1967 to 1982.

Prosecutors say in the agreement they will drop a second charge of coercion of a minor. Along with serving at least 10 years in prison, Wigglesworth will serve at least 10 years of supervised release after he is released, pay restitution and register as a sex offender, according to the agreement.

His change of plea hearing is scheduled for Jan. 27.

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