Donald McGuire, former SJ, is finally going to jail.
The white-haired McGuire, convicted by a federal jury last October of traveling to engage in sex acts with a teenage boy, showed little reaction to the testimony. When it finally came time for him to speak, McGuire, 78, didn’t apologize but offered that he would pray for his accusers.
U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, a daughter of a Lutheran minister, was not impressed. Noting that she can exceed federal sentencing guidelines in only extreme cases, Pallmeyer did just that with McGuire, sentencing him to 25 years in prison as a message to those who would abuse positions of power, respect and love. The federal guidelines called for a maximum sentence of just under 22 years in prison in McGuire’s case.
“I want any such person to know the system of justice, and this judge personally, finds it absolutely abhorrent,” the judge said of McGuire’s misconduct. He committed “a very, very serious sin,” she said.
But at his trial last fall, federal prosecutors said McGuire led a double life, taking untold dozens of young boys from their families—many deeply religious—as his assistants and sexually abusing them repeatedly once they were isolated. He already has been convicted of molesting two boys in Wisconsin and has yet to stand trial for sexually abusing two brothers in Arizona.
The mother of another victim known in court as “Peter” also turned and asked McGuire for the truth. McGuire stared back with a stoic look on his face. She told him he had committed his acts under the guise of being a man of God, making him “the vilest of traitors.” Still, it was not too late for McGuire to admit his wrongdoing, she said.
“Jesus loves you and longs for your repentance.”
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