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Missouri Priest Gets 3-Year Sentence For Molesting Boy

Nov 7, 2003 | AP

A Roman Catholic priest convicted of molesting a 14-year-old boy in the mid-1990s was sentenced Friday to three years in prison, and church officials said they would begin the process of defrocking him.

The Rev. Bryan Kuchar, 38, was convicted in August on three counts of second-degree statutory sodomy.

The victim, now 23, knew Kuchar when he was associate pastor in 1995 at Assumption Catholic Church in St. Louis County. He made the sexual abuse allegations for the first time in 2000 when he was a patient in a drug treatment center. Kuchar was arrested two years later.

In two trials, the first ending with a deadlocked jury, prosecutors presented a 20-minute audiotape of Kuchar telling detectives he had a sexual relationship with the boy. Kuchar later said he was coerced into making the confession.

At his sentencing Friday, Kuchar's only comments were "yes" or "no" in response to the judge's questions.

"You caused hurt to the victim's family. You caused hurt to the entire community," St. Louis County Circuit Judge John Ross told Kuchar. "You showed no compassion. You showed no remorse.

The victim's mother, Sue Lindenbusch, read a statement during the hearing urging the maximum three-year sentence.

"Our son has been in turmoil," she said. "We will never fully have our son back."

A process of defrocking Kuchar will begin during his incarceration, St. Louis Archdiocese spokesman Jim Orso said.

"We continue to pray for the victim of this tragedy, and for the family, that they will experience the healing power of God and his enduring peace," a statement from the archdiocese read.

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