Father Monahan’s invasion of privacy convictions reversed
REGIONAL – The Rev. Paul Monahan, convicted in 2016 of five counts of invasion of privacy, saw those convictions reversed by the Iowa Court of Appeals last week.
The court said prosecutors failed to show that the complaintants had a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public bathroom, along with other findings.
Monahan, 85, was found guilty in a bench trial in 2016, given a suspended 30 day sentence and ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
He was accused of invading the privacy of five male high school students who alleged the retired priest had viewed their genitals in a public restroom during a track meet in Treynor.
With the reversal, Monahan likely will be reinstated to ministry. The Des Moines Diocese said it is relieved the reversal decision was made, and anticipates Monahan will be fully reinstated once the appeal process is complete.
Monahan’s attorney, Dan McGinn, said in a statement that his team is pleased, and not surprised by the court’s reversal. He said the court found the evidence did not support the conviction, but unfortunately it’s difficult for Monahan to have his reputation restored.
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