Reporting Tony Hanson
Filed underCrime and Justice, Heard On, Local, News, Philadelphia, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the trial of a Philadelphia monsignor and a priest accused of child sex abuse and cover-ups moves forward, a second man testified Wednesday he was part of a rotation of boys repeatedly abused by a local priest in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
This man, now 48, told the jury he was referred to Father Stanley Gana — later accused of abuse but never charged — after being sexually abused by a family friend.
The alleged victim says the hugging, kissing, and touching began almost immediately, and he was eventually assigned a certain night for sex, in a rotation with other boys (see related story).
And when, in 1995, he finally went to Msgr. William Lynn (who is now on trial) and reported the alleged abuse by Father Gana, he says he sensed a cover-up.
When he said he could identify and contact the other victims, he says Lynn told him not to do that because “it might cause them more harm.”
And when he later learned that Father Gana was still in ministry and around boys, he says Lynn told him it was not a problem because Gana was an alcoholic but had been treated for it.
The victim says he now has an emptiness where his soul should be.
Lynn has pleaded not guilty of endangering children by allowing predatory priests to remain in active ministry. The defense contends that Lynn took action against Gana: that there was a mental health evaluation and Gana was later assigned to limited ministry.
Gana was defrocked in 2006 based on what the church found to be credible allegations of abuse of minors.