A well-known Catholic priest called convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky a "poor guy" and says clergymen in a lot of cases are seduced by children.
Father Benedict Groeschel, 79, told the National Catholic Register boys without father figures are often the ones who initiate sexual relationships with abusers.
"Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster -- 14, 16, 18 -- is the seducer," said Groeschel, the host of a weekly show called Sunday Night Prime.
"Well, it's not so hard to see -- a kid looking for a father and didn't have his own -- and they won't be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping but not having intercourse or anything like that."
The New York-based clergyman with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal went on to say he doesn't think child sex abusers should be tried on their first offence.
"...I'm inclined to think, on their first offence, they should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime."
Groeschel sympathized with former Penn State University assistant football coach and serial child molester Jerry Sandusky.
"Here's this poor guy -- Sandusky -- it went on for years ... Why didn't anyone say anything?"