NY Franciscan gets five years probation for abusing elderly TX woman

(above) Fr. Stephen Valenta

Via AP Texas News:

CAMERON, Texas — An 86-year-old priest has been sentenced to five years’ probation for forcing an elderly woman to perform a sex act in a central Texas church rectory. The Rev. Stephen Valenta was sentenced Monday after pleading no contest to a felony charge of injury to the elderly. The plea means he didn’t admit guilt but didn’t contest the charge. His attorney Chris Gunter says Valenta will remain in a monastery-type home for priests during his probation, and can’t leave unless someone goes with him. Valenta’s sexual assault charge was dropped as part of the plea deal. The incident happened in 2008 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rockdale, about 50 miles northeast of Austin.Gunter says Valenta lives in Staten Island, N.Y., and serves as a visiting priest.

In 1974, Valenta founded the Mount St. Francis Hermitage in Maine, NY. He has published at least two books, The Journey from the Head to the Heart and Beyond and Searching Through the Teachings of Jesus, and dozens of audiotapes, videos, CDs and DVDs available for perusal here.

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