Retired Cork priest found guilty of indecent assault

The retired Cork priest on trial on sex charges was found guilty today by a majority 10-2 jury verdict on all four charges following almost six hours of deliberation.

Canon Denis Forde (aged 73) of The Presbytery, Dunmanway, Co Cork, always denied the four indecent, or sexual, assault charges and was on trial by judge and jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for the past three days.

The verdicts were delivered shortly before 7pm tonight. Sentencing was adjourned until May 23 and the retired priest remanded on bail, with a victim impact report to be prepared on Mary Morgan.

Ms Morgan, who helped out in the sacristy of the Church of the Incarnation at Grange, Douglas, Cork, said when she was in her early 20s in the early 1980s she was sexually assaulted on four occasions by the priest.

Forde testified that he did kiss and embrace the woman once in the Church sacristy and pecked her on the lips a number of times but he denied that there a sexual element in any of it.

As far as he recalled, he kissed her when her mother was present and said it was friendliness. Ms Morgan said he kissed her when they were alone in the church with the doors locked and that the way of the kissing and the touching was indecent.


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