Priest sex abuse victim wants ad about Prosser pulled - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Priest sex abuse victim wants ad about Prosser pulled


MADISON (WKOW) -- A Virginia man who was the victim of priest sex-abuse as a child in Wisconsin wants a an independent group's TV ad criticizing state supreme court justice David Prosser pulled off the air.

The political advertisement by the Greater Wisconsin Committee criticizes Prosser's 1979 decision as a district attorney not to prosecute catholic priest John Feeney over Feeney's alleged sex abuse of Troy Merryfield.   Feeney was jailed in 2004 for Merryfield's abuse, and other child victims were identified.

Prosser faces assistant attorney general JoAnne Kloppenburg in a re-election bid next month.

Merryfield told WKOW27 News he wants the Great Wisconsin Committee to withdraw the ad.

"I don't care about a supreme court race,  I'm just sick and tired of dirty politics.   My name and story had been hijacked by this political action committee and I don't appreciate it."

GWC spokesperson Michelle McGrorty said the advertisement is accurate,  Prosser's public record is relevant, and the group will not withdraw the ad.   A spokesperson for Prosser's campaign called the ad "distasteful"  and said it was flawed factually,  citing the ad's claim Prosser failed to instruct law enforcement to investigate.   McGrorty said law enforcement investigation took place after Prosser's tenure.

Just three years ago,  Merryfield was quoted by a Wisconsin newspaper as being strongly critical of Prosser.

"He dropped the ball,"  the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted Merryfield on Prosser's actions on his case.

"The laws were on the books and he should have prosecuted."

Merryfield told WKOW27 News his statements were twisted by the newspaper, but did not elaborate.

"I'm not going to rehash what was said."

Merryfield referred to a statement he issued Thursday, which carefully explained Prosser's rationale for declining prosecution was based on avoiding placing the "emotional toll" of a trial experience on Merryfield and his brother,  also a child victim of the priest.

"What I wrote stands,"   Merryfield told WKOW27 News.

During an interview scheduled to air Sunday on UpFront with Mike Gousha,  Prosser talked about the prosecutorial hurdles he faced with the case in the seventies.

"It was a very weak case.   I never disbelieved the people involved,  but it was a matter of proof."



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