Alleged perv priest stalls trial T
he case against an accusedpedophile priest has been delayed for a whopping 34th time as hislawyer contests a new doctor’s opinion that the embattled holy man isfit to stand trial.
John Szantyr, who’s accused of molesting a Worcester altar boy inthe mid-1980s, once again did not appear in Worcester District Courtyesterday when a judge continued his case again. Szantyr, 76, has beenruled incompetent but prosecutors pushed for a new evaluation based oncomplaints from the victim and the victim’s supporters.
The new opinion, which is being reviewed by a judge and will be thesubject of a Nov. 19 hearing, reportedly contradicts a defense reportthat says Szantyr is too ill to face the charges.
“The defense and the DA have their own experts determine whetherhe’s competent to stand trial. Our report found that he was,” said TimConnolly, spokesman for Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.
Szantyr’s attorney, Ed Ryan, who has maintained that his client istoo sick to go on trial, wants the new report tossed out, arguing thatprosecutors failed to challenge the initial competency ruling.
The latest continuance has victims’ advocates fuming.
“I’m very frustrated and the victims are frustrated. We expectedmore,” said Mary Jean, spokeswoman for Worcester Voice, a clergy sexabuse support group.
Worcester Voice and the victim have challenged Szantyr’sincompetency, arguing that he has a valid Connecticut driver’s license,has been spotted walking normally after appearing in court in awheelchair, and has continued to oversee religious services.
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