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Thursday, November 9, 2000

Parish worker
who molested boy
gets 1-year jail term

Star-Bulletin staff

At the sentencing of a Catholic layman who admitted to sexually abusing a young boy, the victim's mother asked the court to prevent Manuel Feliciano from preying on another child.

"There's a name for what Manny did to (my younger son's) faith -- it's called soul murder," said K.J., a single parent now living in Missouri. She requested her initials be used to protect the identities of her minor sons.

"He took away a child's belief in the most important thing on earth: God."

She asked Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario yesterday to impose the maximum penalty and noted: "But no matter what happens here today, the ultimate penalty will be thrust upon you when you die and must face God on judgment day."

Del Rosario sentenced Feliciano, a parish worker, to five years probation with conditions, one of them being one year in jail.

After being indicted in June, Feliciano pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree sex assault and two counts of third-degree sex assault on the woman's oldest son, who is now 16 and in a residential treatment facility.

The younger boy, now 12, also was molested.

The assaults were reported in October 1998 but occurred between 1994 and 1995.

In October, a lawsuit was filed by attorney Mark Davis on behalf of K.J. and her two sons. The lawsuit named Feliciano, Sts. Peter and Paul Church, the Roman Catholic Church in Hawaii and Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo as defendants.

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