Colorado

Jun 25, 2013 10:04 PM by Jacqui Heinrich, jheinrich@koaa.com

Trial begins for retired priest on sex charges

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - A trial has begun for a retired Roman Catholic priest accused of engaging in sexual acts with a 15-year-old boy in Colorado Springs.

Charles Robert Manning has pleaded not guilty to three counts of sex assault on a child by one in a position of trust and two counts each of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and sexual exploitation of children.

Defense attorney Richard Bednarski has called Manning a target for false allegations and said Manning looked at the teen as a surrogate grandson.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reports Manning is accused of molesting the boy while serving at St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church in 2007 and of giving the boy alcohol and marijuana.

Manning was placed on leave in January and was arrested in May.

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