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Victims protest cartoon

Published Oct. 10, 2005

Victims of sexual abuse by a former Roman Catholic priest demanded an apology from a Massachusetts diocesan newspaper for publishing a cartoon they say ridicules those who bring abuse charges against priests.

The cartoon in the Dec. 10 issue of The Anchor, a diocesan newspaper in Fall River, appeared the same week that former Catholic priest James Porter was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing 28 children in Fall River and two other Massachusetts parishes during the 1960s.

"They are ridiculing us in this cartoon," said Frank Fitzpatrick, one of Porter's victims and now head of an organization trying to help victims of abuse by clerics.

The drawing, attributed to the Cartoonists and Writers Syndicate, shows a psychiatrist's receptionist asking a prospective patient, "How much can you afford to remember?" On a desk is a fee schedule listing "Dr. Vic Timm's" rates as including $30,000 for memory of abuse by a priest.

Man pleads guilty to Amish arsons

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. _ The grandson of an Amish bishop whose son served time for burning a neighbor's barn pleaded guilty Monday to torching eight Amish barns in central Pennsylvania.

Darvin Ray Peachey, 23, of Belleville, pleaded guilty in federal court to setting the fires last year and then lying to investigators about where he was the night that six of the barns burned to the ground, killing 181 head of livestock. No one was injured in the March 15 fires, which caused $1-million in damage.

In a plea bargain, Peachey also agreed to plead guilty to state arson charges.

He faces up to 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine on the federal charges and a maximum of eight years in prison on the state charge.

Elsewhere

WASHINGTON _ The United States admitted 810,635 legal immigrants in 1992, representing one of the largest one-year increases since the turn of the century. Some 41 percent of those newcomers moved to California. The figure was higher than the sum of immigrants in New York, Texas, Florida and New Jersey _ the states with the next highest tallies.

CAPE CANAVERAL _ Endeavour returned from the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission in good shape, but the next shuttle flight could be delayed by extra tests of Discovery's steering jets, NASA said Tuesday. A NASA spokesman said the tests probably will delay Discovery's mission by as much as a week. It was supposed to lift off around Jan. 27.

WALLACE, Idaho _ A judge gave a light sentence to a man convicted of rape, saying the attacker only slightly penetrated the woman and stopped when she said it hurt. Judge Craig Kosonen sentenced David Sapp, 32, to 1 to 7 years in prison. But the judge said he would retain jurisdiction over the case for 180 days while Sapp goes through a sexual offender program, where officials could recommend probation.