Minnesota priest tries to explain why he "looked at" altar boy's genitals

Father John Brown says he looked, but didn't touch.
Father John Brown says he looked, but didn't touch.

Father John Brown served as priest at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Waverly. Now 92, he's retired and lives at a nursing home in St. Paul.

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Recently, a former altar boy named Davis Pususta came forward and said he was abused by Brown. The abuse began in the 1960s, when Pususta was just 10 years old. Brown, however, says that while he did indeed look at Pususta's genitals, he managed to restrain himself from touching them.

In an MPR report, Pususta says the first incident of abuse occurred when Brown called him into the rectory to talk about "the birds and bees."

"He was going to talk about the birds and the bees," Pususta, who claims to have stopped believing in God as a result of his alleged abuse, said. "So he was even then, he was gathering the confidence from my parents, so I went up there. We never talked about the birds and bees."

Brown, however, says he only had something like a scientific interest in altar boys' privates.

"Years ago, when I was young and foolish, I did not abuse them. However, I looked at their genitals. I did not touch their genitals at all though," Brown said, adding that he remembers David. "Was careful not to do that at all. It's stupid. I know that. But again, I look back, I did not handle, I did not fondle them at all."

Pususta held a news conference yesterday to publicize his effort to get a Ramsey County judge to unseal the names of 33 priests the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse. MPR reports that the names were disclosed in an earlier lawsuit, but that information isn't yet public.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]

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