TULLYTOWN, Pa. - A preliminary hearing was held Tuesday for a former Catholic priest facing a number of charges after authorities say he sexually assaulted two altar boys during his tenure at a Bucks County church.
Francis Trauger walked into a small, Bucks County court expecting to hear his lawyer argue that charges of indecent assault of minors should be dropped.
"First time I’ve been in the room with him since 1981. I'm amazed at my patience," Mike McDonnell said.
McDonnell, 51, says the ex-priest sexually abused him when he was 12 and Trauger was a priest at a Montgomery County church.
"I awoke in the middle of the night to find he had pulled my underwear down and he was molesting me," he said.
McDonnell now heads an area group of survivors of priest sex abuse while Trauger, 74, faces the indecent assault charges brought by the Bucks County DA after two men in their 30s stepped forward to accuse him.
"The allegations involve conduct in 1996 and 2000 back in those years the statute of limitations certainly never contemplated a prosecution in 2019," Trauger's attorney Brian McVan said.
McVan argued the charges should be dismissed but the judge disagreed and sent Trauger to a December criminal court hearing in Doylestown.
Trauger was first linked to the sexual abuse of minors back in 2005 by a Philadelphia grand jury report, which was the same year he was kicked out of the priesthood.
His attorney says Trauger is “deeply concerned” about the abuse charges.