Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice? What the hell’s going on with our justice system? It gave Rev. William Wert of Sarasota, Florida a slap on the wrist for his first offense, allowing the pedophile priest to re-offend with a 14-year old boy in What Wouldn’t Jesus Do?…
The 54-year old Wert was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year old boy since September. They allegedly met on a number of occasions, engaging in mutual masturbation, mutual oral sex and attempted anal sex at Wert’s home, an empty house in Nokomis, FL, a wooded area and a hotel room. The teen’s father contacted police after finding inappropriate messages from the suspect on the boy’s phone.
Wert was an athletic director and assistant principal of Joliet Catholic High School in Illinois in the early ’90s, then worked at Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, California in the late ’90s. In 2007 he was arrested in Washington, D.C. for touching a 14-year-old boy on the thigh. Initially charged with a sex offense, he was convicted of assault and sentenced to only 15 days in jail. (Apparently not enough to learn his lesson. Hand me the cleaver.)
At the time of the last offense, Wert was working at a Carmelite Seminary, but was removed from the ministry, and relocated to Florida. After his recent arrest he listed his occupation as friar with the Order of Carmelites, and the organization owns his Harbor Drive South residence. However the Diocese of Venice (Florida) said that he’s had no involvement with any ministry, parishes or other Diocesan entities.
Wert’s been charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor and nine more counts of sexual battery and lewd behavior. He is being held in the Sarasota County jail on $190,000 bond. Given his frequent movement and former positions at high schools, it will be a wonder if other victims don’t eventually surface.
Read last Tuesday’s What Wouldn’t Jesus Do?: Daniel Monk Gets 6 Years For Sexing Up 16-Year Old Girl.