Prosser’s “Enviable” Record of Keeping our Families Safe?

“In a question about their experience, Prosser said Kloppenburg “is incredibly envious of my record” of handling criminal cases as Outagamie County district attorney and his years serving in the Assembly and state Supreme Court.”

Actually, no, I don’t think Kloppenburg or anyone with any knowledge of Prosser’s complete record would be envious. Not when that record includes failure to prosecute a pedophile priest, who preyed on dozens of children over thirty years.

And Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is even thanking Prosser in a TV ad for his public service in “Protecting Wisconsin Families.” Yes, allowing a pedophile to run loose assaulting children is surely “protecting” our families.

Straight from the mouth of one of the victims:

“I was ready to take the stand,” Troy Merryfield said Monday. “He (Prosser) said it would be too embarrassing for a kid my age and said what jury would believe a kid testifying against a priest? Then he said, what really makes it bad is that Feeney’s brother, Joe, sang on the Lawrence Welk show and everybody watched that back then.”

“Troy Merryfield differs, saying other children could have been spared abuse.
“It wasn’t as if sexual abuse of a child wasn’t a felony back then,” he said. “The laws were on the books, and he should have prosecuted.”

It wasn’t just the Catholic Church that would not act against pedophile priests, it was law enforcement too, said Sharon Merryfield, who now lives in Texas. “Who else could we turn to? What else could we do? Nobody was on our side.”

The Merryfield brothers took the witness stand in 2004 to help convict Feeney, after Vincent Biskupic, then district attorney of Outagamie County, brought charges. Feeney was convicted by a jury of three counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child, and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

According to court documents, Prosser knew of a third victim, in addition to the Merryfield boys, who was assaulted by this priest, yet Prosser never even conducted a police investigation. He never met with the priest to ask him directly about the children’s claims. Instead, he contacted the bishop and the two of them agreed it would be best for Feeney to be moved.

He never followed up with the bishop, he never checked that the priest couldn’t hurt more children, he never sought justice for the children who had been abused.

An enviable record indeed.

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