A Co. Springs priest accused of sex assualt on trial

Mireya Garcia, Telemundo Anchor/NC13 Reporter, Twitter: @Mireya_G, m.garcia@krdo.com
POSTED: 05:35 PM MDT Jun 25, 2013    UPDATED: 05:47 PM MDT Jun 25, 2013 
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Emotional testimony in the case of a 78-year-old Colorado Springs priest accused of sexually assaulting a child. Father Charles Manning's former assistant broke down in tears when asked if she still considered Manning, a friend.

Manning was a pastor at St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church. His trial started yesterday.

He used a wheelchair to get into the courtroom and was on an oxygen tank. Manning is accused of sexually assaulting a child who was interested in joining the Catholic Church in 2011.

His former executive assistant said Manning gave the victim private classes, but said she never noticed anything inappropriate about the relationship. During her testimony, she said she still considers Manning her friend, and hugged him as she left the courtroom.      

Also Tuesday, a Catholic Victim's Assistance coordinator said the victim reported Manning forced him to dance and perform sex acts on him.

Manning was suspended from the Colorado Springs church after the accusations. If he is found guilty of all the charges against him, Manning could spend life in prison.