Ex-Priest Apologizes for Molesting Boy

Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey)
October 6, 2007

Before he was sentenced to prison yesterday in Sommerville for molesting a 12-year-old boy, a former priest apologized.

Eugene Corbesero, 74, of Franklin Township in Somerset County, quietly conceded he has to pay for what he did on Aug. 16, 2006, during a sleepover at his house. He pleaded guilty in June to second-degree charges of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Corbesero appeared before Superior Court Judge Paul Armstrong, with his attorney, Mitchell Ignatoff, and asked the judge to consider a shorter sentence than the one agreed upon in the deal. Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Murphy argued against the request.

Ignatoff said his client has health problems, and has never been in trouble before. He has been in sex offender treatment, and those who treated him said the widower would be a good candidate for pre-trial intervention.

Whether it's five years in prison with 85 percent of it mandatory or three years with 85 percent, "he's still got to spend substantial time in prison," Ignatoff said.

Murphy argued that the victim in the case was particularly vulnerable, and pointed to the disparity in age between the parties. He also urged Armstrong to consider the history the court has had with these types of cases and the need to protect the public.

Armstrong sentenced Corbesero to the full term in the deal, a concurrent sentence of five years with 85 percent of it mandatory.


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