Former Roman Catholic priest Desmond Laurence Gannon has been jailed in a fifth prosecution for child abuse in Australia. His defense in this latest case is that he was merely giving an 11-year-old boy “anatomy lessons.”
Gannon, 79, was previously convicted of such abuse in 1995, 1997, 2000 and 2003 but remarkably has served only one year in jail. The latest charge stems from 1968.
What is interesting is that he is claiming that he really did not know it was abusive to have such sexual contact with children at the time: “I thought it was less formal rather than inviting him into the presbytery, and that’s all … I won’t say sexual abuse because at the time I didn’t know what it was.”
This is strikingly similar to statements made recently by former Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland in defense of abuse that occurred in Milwaukee.
The judge did not buy the anatomy lessons defense and sent Gannon away for 25 months.
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