Wayland Yoder Brown, a priest who had served time for molesting boys in Maryland, was sentenced yet again on October 23rd to 20 years in a South Carolina prison for raping middle school boys over 40 years ago.
The 76-year-old Catholic priest faced 210 years in prison on nine counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor according to the Associated Press. Brown took a plea deal that lowered his incarceration to 20 years and requires him to work with investigators in uncovering more about the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia and other churches he was involved in.
Brown had previously served five years out of a 10-year sentence in the state of Maryland for sexually abusing two other boys. Brown pleaded guilty in 2004 for the crimes he committed in Maryland in the 1970s, during which he was still in seminary school. He was dismissed from priesthood by Pope John Paul II after he was convicted in 2004.
Investigation on Brown began in 2016 when a man accused him of sexual abuse, an allegation that cost the Diocese of Savannah $4.5 million in a lawsuit settlement. The boys were molested by Brown while attending St. James Catholic School in Savannah. The statute of limitation in Georgia stopped investigation on Brown, but it was discovered he also abused boys in South Carolina, where there is no statue of limitation.
Solicitor Duffie Stone shared in a press conference that Brown raped the boys while wearing his priest collar, then prayed the rosary with them. He warned them that if they reported it they and their families would face eternal condemnation.
He not only violated the trust of children, but violated their faith. He used the Catholic faith against them.
I do not expect the defendant to live through that sentence. I think it is appropriate he lives the rest of his life in the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
h/t: Associated Press