COUNCIL BLUFFS — The Rev. Paul Monahan has been found guilty by a judge of all five counts of invasion of privacy.
In a ruling released Friday afternoon, Associate Judge Gary Anderson said that he found the testimony of five male high school students who said the retired priest looked at their genitals in a public restroom “entirely credible” and that his actions violated their “reasonable expectation of privacy.”
“The activities of the defendant, Paul Andrew Monahan, were clear cut and lead to the inescapable conclusion that the defendant on that afternoon intentionally violated these boys’ reasonable expectations of privacy for the purpose of satisfying his sexual desires while the boys were in a state of partial nudity,” Anderson wrote in his decision.
In Iowa, invasion of privacy is an aggravated misdemeanor, which carries a maximum two-year prison sentence and/or a fine between $625 and $6,250.
Monahan, 83, a former principal at St. Albert High School and veteran priest in southwest Iowa, did not take the stand during his three-day bench trial, which ran from Nov. 28 to 30.
During the trial, the students testified that while at a track meet at Treynor High School on April 4, Monahan had entered the restroom nine times and took a position at the urinal next to one of the teens despite others being open. They said he then stepped back and intentionally looked down at their genitals.
Monahan’s personal physician testified at the trial that his frequent visits to the restroom were because of a medical condition rather than any sexual desire. Monahan’s attorney, Bill McGinn, said during the trial that his client often looked down because of a “crick” in his neck.
Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, which prosecuted the case, declined to comment until Monahan is sentenced Jan. 18. McGinn could not be reached immediately for comment.