Parker Waichman LLP

Priest Pleads Guilty To ’66 Abuse

Sexually molesting a Silver Spring youth in 1966 A former Roman Catholic priest who served in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties pleaded guilty yesterday to sexually molesting a Silver Spring youth in 1966, a crime that the victim, now 44, did not report until last May. James A. Finan, 70, a former pastor of St. […]

Priest Pleads Guilty

Sexually molesting a Silver Spring youth in 1966 A former Roman Catholic priest who served in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties pleaded guilty yesterday to sexually molesting a Silver Spring youth in 1966, a crime that the victim, now 44, did not report until last May.

James A. Finan, 70, a former pastor of St. Nicholas Church in Laurel and Holy Redeemer Church in Kensington, was an alcoholic prone to blackouts at the time he molested the boy 37 years ago, said Finan’s attorney, Jerome Stanbury. Police said the abuse occurred while Finan was visiting the youngster’s home.

Stanbury said his client, who is now sober, “regrets very terribly what happened.”

Finan was removed from the priesthood in 1996 and sentenced to 18 months in jail after a similar molestation complaint, also filed decades after the crime. A 41-year-old man told authorities that he had been victimized by Finan in 1966 at Holy Redeemer. Finan also pleaded guilty in that case.

“He’s very aware of how he’s harmed the victims,” Stanbury said. “He said to me, ‘You know I feel so bad, and all I can say is I’m sorry. Those are just words.’ ”

Finan, who has been living in a retirement home in the 1000 block of Varnum Street NE, pleaded guilty in Montgomery Circuit Court yesterday to one count of committing an “unnatural and perverted” sex act. Although some states have laws barring authorities from filing charges against a suspect decades after a crime, Maryland has no such statute of limitations in felony cases.

Finan’s crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison

Judge Ann S. Harrington scheduled sentencing for March 31. Finan’s crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, but the sentencing guidelines in his case call for a term of six months to four years, authorities said.

“The victim was gratified that this matter was resolved with a guilty plea and therefore it was not necessary to testify in open court,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Peter A. Feeney. “This crime has haunted him his entire life.”

In reporting the abuse, the victim said that in 1966, Finan visited his Silver Spring home. The priest came for dinner and to counsel the youth’s mother, who was on the verge of divorce. After dinner, according to charging documents in the case, Finan and the mother drank whiskey, and the mother invited him to spend the night in her son’s bedroom.

Later that evening, Finan came into the bedroom as the boy lay awake, got in his bed and fondled him, according to the court documents.

The boy “began to panic,” the charging documents state. “He told Father Finan he had to go to the bathroom. He went into his grandmother’s bedroom and slept with her for the rest of the night.”

After reporting the incident last May, the victim telephoned Finan, a call that was monitored by police.

When the victim asked about the long-ago incident, Finan replied that “he remembers going to his house to visit but really didn’t remember” the victim, according to the charging documents. “He stated that he was drinking a lot back then and could [have] abused him.”

Finan later told police that he could not say whether “the abuse did or did not happen,” the documents state.

Need Legal Help Regarding Priest Pleads Guilty on Abuse Charges?

The personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online contact form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

What Our Clients Say About Us
We have worked with thousands of clients and we appreciate them and their positive reviews. Here are just a few recent client reviews...
5 Star Reviews 150
Bravo! We won! Meredith Ippolito and Joonho Hong has been truly wonderful to work with! The team has been on top of my case since the beginning, informing me with every detail and making the entire experience at such ease and worry free. They are extremely professional, attentive and I have been very fortunate to have Meredith Ippolito and Joonho Hong on my case. Thank you Meredith Ippolito and Joonho Hong & Parker Waichman!
Ji Moon
a year ago
5 Star Reviews 150
It was great an professional experience! Really i recomend.
Santiago Lopez
4 months ago
5 Star Reviews 150
Love the way Ms Asia Gali was very attentive and so polite when i called to ask about there services and she made sure to call me back when needed to or text to make sure my appointment with them was on time and set on schedule! She was Great! Thank you so much Asia from Parker Waichman LLP! You guys are the best and definitely will recommend you to anyone in need! — Robert Pombo Jr.
Robert Pombo
11 months ago

Why Choose Us to Help You?

We Take Care of Everything
Your situation is stressful enough: Let us take on the deadlines, paperwork, investigation, and litigation. We'll handle every detail so you don't have to worry.
No Recovery = No Legal Fees
We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that we only get paid from a portion of your settlement or jury award. If you don't get compensation, you owe us nothing.
Decades of Experience
Your situation is stressful enough: Let us take on the deadlines, paperwork, investigation, and litigation. We'll handle every detail so you don't have to worry.
Respected by Our Peers
Judges, insurance adjusters, and fellow attorneys all speak highly of our skills, and we've earned numerous accolades, including a flawless rating from AVVO.
We Have Many Locations To Serve You
We have the experience and the skilled litigators to win your case. Contact us and speak with a real attorney who can help you.
Long Island – Nassau
Parker Waichman LLP
6 Harbor Park Drive
Port Washington, NY 11050
Long Island – Suffolk
Parker Waichman LLP
201 Old Country Road – Suite 145
Melville, NY 11747
New York
Parker Waichman LLP
59 Maiden Lane, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Queens
Parker Waichman LLP
118-35 Queens Boulevard, Suite 400
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Brooklyn
Parker Waichman LLP
300 Cadman Plaza West
One Pierrepont Plaza, 12th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
New Jersey
Parker Waichman LLP
80 Main Street, Suite 265
West Orange, NJ 07052
Florida
Parker Waichman LLP
27299 Riverview Center Boulevard
Suite 108
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Nationwide Service
Parker Waichman LLP
59 Maiden Lane, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10038