After admitting to having inappropriate sexual contact with a young Mark Foley, Father Anthony Mercieca now says that there’s no foundation for prosecution.
According to The New York Times, Mercieca’s lawyer, the unfortunately named Alfred Grech, says:
In the wake of the onslaught of accusations leveled against him, Reverend Father Anthony Mercieca believes that nothing that had happened between him and Mark Foley some 40 years ago could provide solid grounds for legal action against him… He therefore considers the aggressive and unfavorable exposure as being unfair and unjustified…
Shit, what did he expect? A parade? Perhaps a special Papal blessing or something. Has he not been around long enough to know that peeps aren’t so keen on child molesters, especially when said molester claims to be a man of the cloth?
Anyway, how can he say there’s no basis for prosecution? He’s said before that he doesn’t remember everything that happened between him and lil’ Foley. If you ask our opinion, Mercieca ought to leave the matter up to experts…
In related news, a second man has come forward and accused Mercieca of molestation. Not surprisingly, Mercieca denies his charges.
For the full-story, take that plunge…
October 27, 2006
Priest in Foley Abuse Claims Hits Back at Accusers
Filed at 9:13 a.m. ET
VALLETTA (Reuters) – The Catholic priest accused by former congressman Mark Foley of molesting him as a boy said on Friday the allegations did not constitute a basis for him to be prosecuted.
Anthony Mercieca, who is retired and lives on the Maltese island of Gozo, has admitted in U.S. media interviews that he had encounters with Foley that could be perceived as sexually inappropriate but denied having sex with him.
In a statement issued by his lawyer, Mercieca, 72, said an accusation of molestation by a second man was “at best a figment of the imagination and at worst as a malicious fabrication.”
“In the wake of the onslaught of accusations leveled against him, Reverend Father Anthony Mercieca believes that nothing that had happened between him and Mark Foley some 40 years ago could provide solid grounds for legal action against him,” lawyer Alfred Grech said.
“He therefore considers the aggressive and unfavorable exposure as being unfair and unjustified,” he added.
Foley resigned from Congress on September 29 after revelations the six-term Florida politician had sent sexually explicit Internet messages to young congressional aides.
He subsequently announced that he had been abused by Mercieca. The priest worked from the mid-1960s until 2002 in south Florida, where Foley was an altar boy in the late 1960s.
Mercieca admitted in interviews to swimming naked, being unclothed in the same room as Foley and massaging him in the nude.
Since then another man has said he was abused by the priest when he was 12 years old.
The allegations against Mercieca added a twist to the Foley scandal which rocked the Republican Party just ahead of a mid-term congressional election, They also have renewed media scrutiny of sexual abuse by priests, a scandal which engulfed the Catholic Church in 2002.
The Archdiocese of Miami has said it was investigating Foley’s allegations. “Such behavior is morally reprehensible, canonically criminal and inexcusable,” it said.