Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Congressional Sex Scandals

The Aftermath

Rev. Anthony Mercieca
Rev. Anthony Mercieca

In October 2006, as the story continued to swirl, Foley announced he had been molested by a priest when he was a teenager in Florida. The priest, Rev. Anthony Mercieca, had been pastor at several south Florida churches from 1965 to 2002. Foley accused Mercieca of molesting him while he attended Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lake Worth, where Foley had been an altar boy in the 1960s. Mercieca said he had gone skinny dipping with Foley, massaged him while nude and taken saunas with the boy so he could fondle him.

Foley's parents had seen the priest as a positive influence in his life and welcomed him into their home. Mercieca later objected to Foley's characterization of their contact as molestation.

"For some people, it's molestation," Mercieca said, according to Vanity Fair. "Maybe for other kids, it's fun, you know?"

After Foley publicly accused Mercieca of molesting him, another Florida man, whose identity was not revealed in court papers, said the priest had molested him as well.

Since Foley's resignation and treatment, he has been seen around Palm Beach with his partner, Layne Nisenbaum a dermatologist. The two own a home on the Intercoastal Waterway. As of November 2007, the Palm Beach Post reported that Foley and Nisenbaum were to be the subjects of a "Warholized" portrait of well-known locals to benefit an art fair. Foley, who also served as head of the Congressional Entertainment Industries Caucus, has also been spotted in Beverly Hills.

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