After four days of hearing testimony, the jury found Father Thomas Teczar guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual of a child, and a fourth count of indecency with a child. Which landed Teczar a punishment of 50 years in prison and a $10-thousand fine.
As everyone pointed out, this was a long week and it has been tough for everyone at the Eastland County Courthouse, from the attorneys, to the jurors, and for the victims.
"It's just been a roller coaster ride, it was worth the wait, I'm grateful," said David Lewcon, a victim abused by Father Teczar, back in the '70s, while Teczar was serving in Massachusetts. He admits he was relieved to hear that Father Teczar was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault, "It's taken me 30 years to get to this point, and I'm very grateful for the verdict."
Lewcon explains that back in the '70s, when he was 16 years old, Father Teczar sexually abused him. "I always knew he was guilty, and this has proven that no one is above the law. Not even a Catholic priest."
Which is why District Attorneys Russ Thomason and Brenda Gray, worked to prove Teczar as a pedophile. "I was very pleased that the jury saw that Father Teczar was a pedophile," says Thomason, "[and] that he had a trail of damaged youngsters from Massachusetts to Texas."
He adds that this case was made possible because victims stepped forward, "I'm very proud of the victims, in this case, and how they stepped forward and were able to point their finger at Father Teczar and say, 'This man sexually abused me."
Something Thomason says can be a big step, especially with Teczar being a Priest in the Catholic Church. "It was significant because he was in a position of trust and authority. Our child victim respected him because he was a Priest."
As for Teczar, his attorney, Robin Noriss, says he's disappointed in the outcome, "He's [Father Teczar] visiting his brother, Ed, before he is taken and processed at the jail. He's sad and disappointed."
Which is a different emotion than I, along with others, noticed in court. During the jury's deliberation, Teczar was seen laughing and telling jokes, some even aimed at me. District Attorney Thomason, says he acted like that a lot during the trial process.