An El Paso County judge has sentenced a 78-year-old former Colorado Springs Priest convicted of supplying drugs and alcohol to a minor to four years of supervised probation. KKTV reported that the judge cited priest Charles Manning's deteriorating health and his lack of contact with children as the reason for the sentence.
Manning was initially charged with sexual assault on a child for an incident that took place in 2011, while he was serving as pastor of the St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church. A jury acquitted him on the sex charges in July of this year, but found him guilty of two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
KOAA reported in January, 2012, that Manning was asked to step back from his duties at the Colorado Springs church after the allegations surfaced. Manning was initially ordained as a priest in St. Louis in 1997, reported the St. Louis Riverfront Times, and returned to St. Louis to live in a home for retired priests while the investigation was taking place in Colorado Springs.
According to the Associated Press, during Manning's trial this summer, a defense attorney stated that the priest was a target for false accusations and that he considered the 15-year-old boy he was accused of molesting and giving alcohol and marijuana to as a "surrogate grandson."
Manning's lawyers are planning to request a transfer of his probation to St. Louis so he can remain there, KKTV reported this week.