A Catholic priest has been convicted of sexual abuse after telling a distressed boy that his grandfather would get into heaven if the seven-year-old performed a sex act on him..
According to court documents, the victim, now 31, was saddened by his grandfather’s death when he came to James Martin Donaghy, 55, for answers. The distraught boy wanted to know if his grandfather was in purgatory, a resting stop to purify one’s soul before being spiritually clean enough to enter heaven. That’s when the Northern Ireland priest told the boy that his grandfather would get into heaven if he performed a sex act on the priest.
Donaghy, who was already preparing the boy for his First Communion when the sexual abuse began, also told the boy that the acts were necessary to get his grandfather into heaven and that the remedy wouldn’t work if the boy told anyone.
Prosecutors said the boy went to confession a few days after the abuse since he did not feel right about what was happening. However, after entering the confessional box, he discovered Donaghy was on the other side of the partition.
The priest is already serving 10 years in prison for sex crimes in four previous cases but was adamant he did not touch the boy nor did he remember him. Still, Donaghy did not contest the charges and was given an additional two years in prison.