Priest Sentenced in 22-Year-Old Child Sex Case

United Press International
January 31, 1989

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A Roman Catholic priest who confessed to forcing sex on a schoolboy 22 years ago was sentenced Monday to 60 days in jail and told to pay counseling fees for his victim, who broke two decades of silence because he feared the man might harm other children.

"You can't appreciate what he did to me in terms of damage," said the 37-year-old victim, identified only as "Ed." "In one fell swoop I lost the church, school, my parents and God."

Ed, now an Asheville businessman, was an eighth grader at St. Geneva Gibbons Hall School when the incident took place. The Rev. Anthony Andre Corbin, 59, was a Catholic priest in Asheville at the time.

Corbin pleaded guilty to felony charges of taking indecent liberties with a minor.

Buncombe County Superior Court Judge Hollis M. Owens suspended all but 60 days of a five-year sentence to be served in the Buncombe County Jail.

As a condition of probation, Owens ordered Corbin not to be around children by himself and to continue counseling at St. Luke's Hospital in Suitland, Md., as he has for the past six months.

The judge also ordered Corbin to pay all past counseling fees and up to $10,000 in future fees for Ed.

Monday was the first time Ed had seen the priest in 22 years. He said he decided to seek Corbin's arrest after appearing on the "Geraldo Rivera Show" with other Catholics who had been molested by priests because he wanted to get Corbin away from children.

Corbin was directing a play at Gibbons Hall in April 1966 when he asked Ed, then an eighth grader, to go with him to a room at the school to look at costumes, according to a September 1988 police interview submitted as evidence.

Corbin told Ed he was responsible for putting on a window display at a store in Asheville using live models to depict the crucifixion of Christ.

Ed said Corbin, then 37, said he was worried about the look of the model portraying Jesus wearing only a loin cloth.

"When I resisted (dressing in the loin cloth), he said he was concerned with the desecration of Jesus Christ and that I should be concerned too and cooperate," said Ed.

The victim said once he had put the loin cloth on, Corbin performed a sexual act on him.

"The pain that comes with that is on the intensive level that a parent would feel if they lost a young child," said Ed. "It is absolutely emotional and psychological pain."

Ed said he told his parents but they told him not to tell anyone and did nothing about it themselves. He concluded he could not trust his parents, priests or teachers.

Ed also maintained he developed a total mistrust of authority, including his employers once he was grown.

Eight years ago Ed sought counseling and 18 months ago decided it was time to "get Corbin off the streets."

His search led to Cape Cod, Mass., where Corbin was teaching psychology at a community college.

Sue Greenberg, an Asheville sexual abuse therapist, said a child never gets old being molested by an adult.

"A child comes into the world trusting adults," she said. "When the child is betrayed by those people who are suppose to protect him, trust for them is impossible and the child always feels it was his fault.

"Denying the pain may work in the short term, but it works against inflicted children in the long run," she said. "They must relieve their anguish to learn how to handle it."

But Greenberg characterized Ed as lucky.

"He is getting something not many molested get, and that is to see the molester in court and convicted."


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