Sunday, May 12, 2024

Defrocked Donegal priest jailed for 'sustained' sexual abuse of young victim

Former priest Eamonn Crossan has been jailed for the sexual abuse of a young boy in County Donegal.

Defrocked cleric Crossan, now aged 73, was handed a five-year prison sentence, with the final 12 months suspended, when he appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court on Wednesday morning. Crossan was last week told by the courageous victim to 'rot in hell'.

Crossan, a native of Letterkenny, appeared via video link from Midlands Prison in Portlaoise, where he is in custody and which was given as his current address.

Appearing from video link booth 3, Crossan showed little emotion as Judge John Aylmer passed sentencing.

The victim was in court accompanied by his wife and flanked by two detectives.

Crossan pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault, which were representative of 52 counts of such offending in a period spanning March 1987 and December 1992 when the victim was aged between 10 and 15.

Judge Aylmer said that the evidence established that the victim was indecently or sexually assaulted “in a sustained manner on a weekly basis over a six-year period”.

At the time, Crossan was in a position of authority as a parish priest and the offending represented “a very grave breach of trust”, Judge Aylmer said.

The most serious offences regularly involved the violation of the male victim, who was taken into Crossan's bed and had his genitals fondled as the disgraced priest masturbated.