WAUSAU, Wis. -- A Roman Catholic priest was sentenced to 18 months in jail and 20 years' probation after pleading' guilty to molesting and exposing himself to teen-age boys under his care at two churches.

The Rev. Timothy E. Svea, 39, was convicted Monday of second-degree sexual assault of a child under 16 and several counts of exposing himself to a child. Svea also pleaded guilty to charges of false imprisonment.

District Attorney Jill Falstad said Svea had shown remorse and cooperated with authorities, but he abused his position as a religious leader, abusing the boys and giving them sleeping pills and alcohol.

According to court records, the victims were boys as young as 15 who had volunteered for mission work with the Institute of Christ the King, an international religious group.

One of the boys told investigators that Svea gave him weekly massages in which he molested the boy and showed him pornographic pictures, court records said.

[ February 27, 2002: Message edited by: nomsv ]