A priest is acquitted of fondling two men in a YMCA, one of the men being mentally retarded. But despite the acquittal it doesn’t add up. I think the priest got off on a technicality.
This is what is alleged to have happened. A mentally challenged guy said Fr. David Lawlor touched him indecently while in the whirpool. When a notice was posted seeking information or witnesses, another guy came forward to say he had been touched by the same guy. When Lawlor was picked up, that’s when the contradictions began.
First, he tells police he wasn’t in the whirlpool. Later, he says he might been in it, but was alone. Still later, he says the accuser was there, but that the guy was in pain and “he offered to help him by massaging his knee.” Yes, I know that when I’m semi-naked with a stranger, I will offer to rub his knee for him… Not!
The cop also said that Lawlor told him he had been a member of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous for 24 years. “Lawlor testified at the trial that he meant to say he was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.” How would anyone seriously mix those two things up? And why would he mention AA in this context? What does the cop care?
Lawlor’s excuse for the discrepancy was that he was tired and frightened and just wanted the interview over. Yes, that’s why he made conflicting, incriminating statements. Nothing ends an interview faster.
The prosecutor makes the final and telling point: What reason would the victims, especially the mentally challenged guy, have to put themselves through this if they were lying? What reason did they have to lie?
I think this is a case where a smooth-talking lawyer and the last dying wisps of prestige of the priesthood got an acquittal.