Thursday, January 21, 2010

Notorious Washington priest accused of molesting residents of boys’ home

Notorious Washington priest accused of molesting residents of boys’ home
January 21, 2010

Father Patrick O’Donnell, whose abuse of dozens of boys in the State of Washington helped bankrupt the Diocese of Spokane, has been accused of abusing residents of the Morning Star Boys Ranch, a home for troubled boys.

Also accused is Father Joseph Weitensteiner, who led the home for nearly four decades until his retirement in 2006. According to BishopAccountablity.org, Father Weitensteiner was accused in 2005 of abuse of 2 boys in 70s & 80s at Morning Star Boys Ranch. Resigned as head of Ranch in 4/06. Denied all the allegations. Reportedly took a lie detector test and passed. 19 plaintiffs allege abuse by Weitensteiner, Marvin Lavoy and others at the Ranch. 1 trial set for 1/10. In 11/09 Ranch transferred bulk of its assets to nonprofit Morning Star Foundation which will complicate any possible settlements or judgments.