Former priest gets year for molesting altar boys in 1980s

June 25, 2013 at 12:18 AM

CORK, Ireland, June 25 (UPI) -- A defrocked Irish priest was sentenced to a year behind bars Monday for molesting two altar boys in the late 1980s.

Patrick Crowley, 62, apologized to his victims, saying he now understands the long-term impact of his actions, The Irish Times reported.

"As a convicted pedophile I live with the reality that every day of my life I am among probably the most despised people in society. It is very hard to forget what I have done. I cannot pretend I did not know what I was doing was wrong," Crowley said.

Police Detective Donal O'Connell said the two victims were 10 and 11 when they were molested.

He said one reported the abuse to the diocese of Cork in 1999, and the church turned the information over to police several years later. The other man went to police in 2011, saying he had tried to do so several times but was stopped by fear of revealing what he felt to be a shameful secret.

Crowley's attorney, John Devlin, said his client served several months in 2003 for molesting another victim in the 1980s and has received counseling. Crowley was removed from the priesthood in 2002.

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