Sex Abuse Victims' Groups Outraged By Vatican Decision to Clear Accused Priest

Tollner told Good Morning America in 2007 that the sexual abuse started when he and Placa were making posters for a Right to Life march.

"As he started to explain how these posters should be done, I realized that something was rubbing my body," Tollner said. "After a minute or two, I realized that he's feeling me, feeling me in my genital area."

The grand jury report concluded that Priest F abused the boys sexually "again and again and again."

"Priest F was cautious, but relentless in his pursuit of victims. He fondled boys over their clothes, usually in his office," the report said.

Giuliani Defended, Employed Priest

Several former students from the same high school say they were asked by the "Giuliani organization" to contact ABC News and vouch for Placa.

"There was absolutely not a hint of rumor of a speculation or a whisper, in four years, or in decades after of any sexual predatoriness on the part of Rev. Placa," wrote Matthew Hogan in an e-mail to ABCNews.com.

Placa did not respond to a request for comment left at his office at Giuliani Partners, and a spokesperson for Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for the Diocese of Rockville Centre did not respond to a request for comment by press time. According to the Diocese's official announcement of Placa's not guilty ruling, "Msgr. Placa will not be given a diocesan assignment. Msgr. Placa will reside at St. Aloysius parish, Great Neck. Msgr. Placa's status is that of a retired priest in good standing."

In 2007, Giuliani said during a Wisconsin campaign appearance that he stood by Placa despite the accusations. "I know the man; I know who he is, so I support him," Giuliani said.

"We give some of the worst people in our society the presumption of innocence and benefit of the doubt," said Giuliani. "And, of course, I'm going to give that to one of my closest friends."

Placa has been friends with Giuliani since they both attended Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn. They were in an opera club together and would sometimes double date. Giuliani and Placa later attended Manhattan College together, where they were also fraternity brothers.

Placa was ordained as a Catholic priest in May 1970. He was the best man at Giuliani's first marriage in 1968, then helped Giuliani get an annulment in 1982 so he could marry second wife Donna Hanover. Placa officiated at Hanover and Giuliani's 1984 wedding. He officiated at the funerals of Giuliani's father and mother and baptized both of Giuliani's children. Click Here for the Blotter Homepage.

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