NEW JERSEY PERV PRIEST GUILTY
The Rev. John Banko, a New Jersey priest, is described as having a pattern of sexually inappropriate behavior toward minors dating back 30 years. Banko was convicted yesterday of molesting an altar boy. He was the first priest here to be charged criminally in a sex case since the Roman Catholic Church became embroiled in a national scandal earlier this year. He was convicted of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and child endangerment. The boy, now 20, was abused by Banko in 1993 and 1994 at the community center of St. Edward's Roman Catholic Church in Milford. Banko could receive up to 35 years in prison when he is sentenced on February 7.