Priest sentenced to probation in abuse case

By THOMAS J. SHEERAN, Associated Press Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution involving a boy he met in a bar was sentenced Thursday to three years probation.
Cuyahoga County Common Please Judge Ann Mannen said the Rev. Daniel McBride, 76, must also register his address with the sheriff's office monthly for 10 years as a sexually oriented offender.
She also ordered him to complete 200 hours of community service and said she would direct the probation department to have him counsel sexual offenders.
"Instead of being a shepherd, you chose to abuse him," said Mannen, referring to the 17-year-old who got $120 and a music CD for a sexual encounter.
Mannen said probation instead of a possible prison term of up to five years was in line with sentences given to others who hire prostitutes and was unrelated to his priestly duties and the clergy abuse scandal in the church.
"He is not the poster child for pedophile priests," Mannen said.
McBride, wearing a jacket and tie, told the judge he was sorry that he had let down his family, friends and parishioners and had "cast more shadows on the church" amid the clergy abuse scandal.
"I am truly sorry," he said.
McBride (pictured, above) pleaded guilty May 16. He was the only priest charged in an investigation of sex abuse allegations in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.
Several charges were dropped against McBride in exchange for a plea agreement, including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, compelling prostitution, interference with custody and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
A second promoting prostitution charge relating to the same boy also was dropped, said Tim Miller, an assistant county prosecutor.
The diocese previously placed McBride on administrative leave.
He retired from the priesthood in 1987, but served as senior associate pastor at St. Barnabas Church in Northfield Township.
Prosecutors said McBride went to the now-closed Marshall McCarron's Tavern in Cleveland to meet a teenager and arranged for him to travel to McBride's condominium in Chautauqua, N.Y., for sex.
Bar owner Lynn Ernsberger, 62, was sentenced to eight years in prison by Mannen on Wednesday.
Ernsberger had pleaded guilty to 14 charges, including racketeering and prostitution connected to running a brothel out of his bar.
"As far as this court is concerned, you traded these boys like baseball cards," Mannen said. "The only question I ask is: How dare you?"
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)