New concerns halt trial for Pewaukee priest

NOW: New concerns halt trial for Pewaukee priest

WAUKESHA, WI (CBS 58) – Wednesday, March 11, 2020, marked what was supposed to be the third day of a trial for a Pewaukee priest accused of inappropriately touching a teen girl during confession at Queen of Apostles Church.

There were two specific issues that were vetted out.

The first issue was two jurors who revealed to they were related and the second was the credibility of the victim’s mother following the discovery of her criminal history which ties to her immigration status in this country.

The judge got rid of two jurors who were revealed to be step siblings.

“That leaves us with a jury of 12,” says Judge Michael Maxwell. “There is no issue with us proceeding on that bases.”

Then the victim’s mother’s credibility was called into question.

The defense argued they were not given adequate notification about the victim’s mother’s criminal history. They say she was arrested for forging her identity to get into the county and had to expedited removal by ICE.

“It also raises a motive in this case of real bias because under the Violence Against Women Act, a parent-from another country- whose U.S. citizen child is sexually assaulted/sexually abused has advantages in gaining citizenship,” says the defense.

The state revealed the victim’s mother is living in the U.S. illegally.

They argued the victim was aware of her mother’s immigration status, and feared publicity to the matter would jeopardize her mother being in this country.

“For her (the victim) that was part of the reason she didn’t tell about the sexual assault right away,” says the state.

“If they had given this to us on Friday, on Monday morning we would have been in here talking about this in a very different way,” says defense attorney Kathleen Stilling.

The defense asked the judge to consider a mistrial.

“I’m still not going to grant the motion of a mistrial at this time,” says the Judge Maxwell. “I’m going to take the information that has been given to me and continue to review it.”

There were also questions about the mother using different social security numbers, different birth dates, and even where she was born.

The judge has asked for the mother to be present on Thursday for questioning on the matter. Jurors are scheduled to be back on the trial by 10A.M.

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