Snapshots of some cases of Catholic Church transferring or moving priests accused of abuse

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Snapshots of Catholic priests accused of abuse

In an investigation spanning 21 countries across six continents, The Associated Press found 30 cases of Roman Catholic priests accused of abuse who were transferred or moved abroad.

Here are snapshots of the cases:


Vadeboncoeur, a 69-year-old priest, served a 20-month sentence in Quebec in the 1980s after pleading guilty to sexual abuse and sodomy of four teenage boys.

Afterward, he moved to a small parish in Normandy, France — and was convicted in 2005 of raping an adolescent boy. He was sentenced to 12 years in a French prison, where he is now.

The bishop at the time, Jacques Gaillot, said he tried to give the priest a second chance.

“That was my first mistake,” Gaillot told The Associated Press. “Retrospectively I realized that I was wrong to take him in, and I was wrong not to say anything.”

A 1987 letter to Gaillot from Vadeboncoeur’s Canadian superior, Pierre Levesque, clearly spelled out Vadeboncoeur’s sex crimes and concerns that he would abuse again. But Levesque also supported Vadeboncoeur’s move to France and said “the hard lesson Vadeboncoeur endured had beneficial effects on him.”


A French priest and humanitarian doctor, Lefort was convicted in 2005 in France of raping and abusing six minors in Senegal in 1994 and 1995. According to his supporters’ Web site, he now works in the library in the bishop’s office in Puy en Velay.

A witness at his trial said there were similar allegations in Mauritania, where he lived before Senegal.

After the allegations surfaced, Lefort moved back to France and worked in different parishes. Catholic authorities didn’t restrict him from working with minors while the investigations were still pending. French observers say such procedure was standard at the time, but has changed in the past two to three years.


The now-deceased former cardinal was accused in 1995 by former pupils and monks in his care of sexually molesting minors in the 1970s and 1980s at the Goettweig monastery in Austria.

Groer stepped down as Vienna archbishop soon after the first allegations were publicized and relinquished all his religious duties for the Catholic Church in 1998, at the request of Pope John Paul II.

Upon stepping down, Groer was sent to a monastery in eastern Germany, in the Dresden diocese. He did not commit any known abuses while in Germany.

Groer later returned to Austria, where he died in 2003. He never admitted guilt.


The Swiss priest has admitted to abuse with “children and adolescents” in the 1970s in the Cistercian Abbey in Mehrerau, Austria, and a church in Birnau, Germany.

Mueller was dismissed from his post in Mehrerau and Birnau for sexual abuse, and then was hired by the Basel diocese in Switzerland in 1971, although diocese officials knew about his past abuse. They hired him under condition that he was monitored by another priest and given medical treatment.

Basel officials have told the Swiss daily Blick that four alleged cases have been reported against Mueller.

In 1987, Mueller was called back to Birnau. He joined the Chur diocese in 1992 as a priest in the small Swiss town of Schuebelbach. The Chur diocese said it didn’t learn about his past until being contacted by a victim on March 15 of this year. The bishop then confronted Mueller, who resigned last month.


Poveda Sanchez, a 50-year-old Spaniard, worked in the Italian diocese of Porto-Santa Rufina and is now in Spain.

The bishop, Gino Reali, said under questioning by an Italian prosecutor Dec. 1, 2008, that the priest came under suspicion for sending sexually explicit telephone messages to several children in the diocese in 2005. The bishop said the priest denied sending the messages but said other people may have used his cell phone.

The bishop said he ordered the priest back to Spain and not to return to Italy. He said he ordered a formal investigation.

Poveda Sanchez was transferred to the Spanish diocese of Getafe, outside Madrid. That diocese says it was not informed in advance of the problems in Italy. Caramella Buona, an Italian nonprofit organization working with abuse victims, said Sanchez was accused of having abused four minors in the parish of Our Lady of Fatima in Aranova, in Rome.

The Getafe diocese said he was assigned to work in his hometown of Belmote de Cuenca in a non-pastoral job, then in 2007 was named parish priest of Valdelaguna and in 2008 of Belmote de Tajo.

The Getafe diocese said it learned of the probe in 2008 from the priest himself, and transferred him to work at a nursing home in Aranjuez.


Smyth was an Irish visiting priest at Our Lady of Mercy in East Greenwich, R.I., in 1965-68. Providence diocese spokesman William Halpin said the Americans were told the move was to ease Smyth’s difficulties with asthma.

Smyth’s stay ended abruptly following allegations of abusing children.

The late Bruno Mulvihill, a priest in Smyth’s Norbertine order, has said he spoke of his concerns about Smyth to Archbishop Gaetano Alibrandi, the papal nuncio in Ireland, and the then-bishop of Kilmore, Francis McKiernan. In a statement to Irish police in 1995, Mulvihill said: “Archbishop Alibrandi was not interested in listening to my complaints.”

After more complaints in 1975, McKiernan barred Smyth from ministry in the diocese of Kilmore. The Rev. Sean Brady, now leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, interviewed two children who complained about Smyth. Brady said this year that he accepted their accounts as true, but did not notify police.

In 1979, Smyth went to North Dakota at St. Alphonsus Church in Langdon.

Smyth was charged with multiple offenses in Northern Ireland in 1991, but fled to the Republic of Ireland, mostly staying at Kilnacrott Abbey. He returned to Northern Ireland in 1993 and pleaded guilty the following year to indecently assaulting five girls and two boys.

In 1997, Smyth was extradited to the Republic of Ireland, where he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 20 boys and girls between 1958 and 1993. He died of a heart attack one month into his 12-year sentence.


This priest is mentioned in a July 2009 report by an Irish commission on priest abuse in the archdiocese of Dublin.

The priest was first sent for treatment by the Servants of the Paraclete in Stroud, England. There was another complaint after he returned to Ireland.

The priest was persuaded to go to New Mexico for treatment in 1982. He briefly returned to Ireland, was accused of making a pass at a 16-year-old boy and went back for treatment in Jemez Springs.

In April 1983 the then-archbishop of Dublin, Dermot Ryan, got Bishop Mark Hurley of Santa Rosa, Calif., to allow the priest to work in Eureka, Calif. After complaints of inappropriate conduct in 1985, Hurley withdrew the priest.

In June 1987 an official from Sacramento telephoned Monsignor Alex Stenson in Dublin about the priest, saying: “Urgent to get him out of the USA to anywhere.”

The priest was suspended, and laicization was approved in March 1988. The priest applied to work with a non-church homeless project in Stockton.

“The bishops decided to let him go to the USA. They, in effect, set him loose on the unsuspecting population of Stockton, California. There is no record that they notified the bishop of Stockton of his arrival,” the report concludes.


Maguire sought to become a priest, he said, to deal with his impulses. “Since priests don’t have sex, it wouldn’t matter whether he was attracted to boys or girls,” according to a report by an Irish commission.

He initially worked in Japan. He was sent to Ireland in 1974 after a nun in Japan complained of his inappropriate conduct with young males. The report quotes a letter from a member of the Missionary Society of St. Columban in Japan to group’s head in Ireland:

“Bishop Hirata was most understanding but said that it would be best that Pat slip out of Japan quietly.”

In 1974-75 Maguire worked in the diocese of Raphoe in northwest Ireland, where he got altar boys to stay with him overnight. He was then sent for treatment in Stroud, England, where he was diagnosed as a pederast, a man who commits sodomy on boys.

He resumed pastoral work in England in 1976. Following a complaint, he was assigned to office work in Dublin in 1979. That year, a woman complained that she found Maguire in bed with her two sons.

Maguire went to England for treatment in 1982. In 1983, he was appointed to parish duties in the Dublin district of Ballymun, “highly” recommended by a superior of the society. But after complaints, he was sent to England in 1984 for more therapy.

Maguire got a parish appointment in England, where he was accused of sexually abusing a 21-year-old man with a mental illness. The Columbans brought him back to Ireland.

Maguire is now living in a Columban residence in Meath, northwest of Dublin, where he is “monitored very carefully,” Bishop Philip Boyce of Raphoe told an Irish newspaper in November 2009.

FATHER VIDAL (pseudonym)

He had several affairs with women in Britain and sought a post in Ireland.

The report from an Irish commission looking into Dublin archdiocese abuse cases said Vidal’s bishop wrote to Archbishop John Charles McQuaid saying: “As you will appreciate, it will not be advisable for him to work in this diocese again.”

In 1973, a nun informed the Dublin archdiocese that Vidal was having sexual affairs with a woman and her daughter, aged 12-14. At the time of his laicization in 1979, Vidal acknowledged a physical relationship with the girl from the age of 13. He married her in 1980, but they separated in 1985. He got a divorce in California in 1992; she got a divorce in Ireland in 1997 after divorce was legalized there.

In 1985, Vidal contacted the archdiocese saying he wished to return to the ministry. After Vidal spent time at a monastery, Auxiliary Bishop Dermot O’Mahony arranged for the priest to go to the Sacramento diocese in California. O’Mahony did not disclose the priest’s past.

Vidal worked as a priest in Sacramento, retired to Ireland in 2003 and died the following year.


Javier was accused by two altar boys (one 18 and another 19 at the time) of molesting them in 2001-02 at a Catholic school about three hours west of Manila, in the Philippines.

Javier left in 2002. The former bishop of his diocese told the AP that Javier went to the U.S., where his parents and a sister live. “We allowed him,” the former bishop said. “His mother got sick and he went there to take care of her.”

Ryan Mau, the parish secretary at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Rowland Heights, Calif., said Javier was the parish’s associate pastor for two years, starting sometime in 2003. Javier died on Jan. 23, 2008.

The AP has copies of two letters sent in June 2002 by the lay leaders at the St. Columban parish in Olongapo to then-Bishop Deogracias Iniguez and other diocesan leaders about the alleged abuse.

Frustrated by the lack of action, one of the lay leaders, Olet Enriquez, e-mailed the Vatican in September 2003 to report the alleged sexual harassment. He said he got an unsigned reply telling him to take his case to the papal nuncio in Manila. He said he sent a lengthy follow-up letter to the same Vatican e-mail address in January 2004, restating the case, but never got a reply.


Garcia was expelled from the Dominican order in 1986 after a nun told police that an altar boy had been found in his bed in a Los Angeles rectory. The priest left for his hometown in the Philippines in Cebu province, where he continued to serve and in 1997 was given the title of monsignor.

Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, media director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said he had not heard about the Garcia case but that it should be looked into.

Garcia told the Dallas Morning News that he did have sex with the boys, but claimed he was the one who was “seduced and raped,” a charge his accusers called absurd. A plaintiff, Paul Corral, said he had obtained a financial settlement.


Skelton was studying for the priesthood in Michigan in 1988 when he was convicted of sexual misconduct with a 15-year-old boy and dismissed from his seminary.

He went to the Philippines, where he was ordained a priest in 2001 in the diocese of Tagbilaran in Bohol province. Today, at 48, he is parochial vicar of St. Vincent Ferrer parish in the town of Calape, according to the diocese directory. Reached on his cell phone, Skelton declined to comment.

The bishop who ordained Skelton said he wouldn’t have made him a priest if he had known about the criminal conviction. But he added: “The priest is trying to live well. If he has really changed, the heart of the church is compassionate.”

The archdiocese of Detroit, after learning Skelton had been ordained, sent a letter about his conviction to then-Bishop Tumulak in early 2003. Tumulak said he doesn’t remember if he received the letter. In any case, he added, it would have been too late.

Informed of the case, current Bishop Leonardo Medroso said he would investigate. But he added: “He was convicted, and that means to say he has served already the conviction. So what obstacle can there be if he has already served his punishment or penalty?”


A lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by Maramba in the U.S. more than than 30 years ago was settled this month. The settlement was the third reached with the diocese of El Paso, Texas, and others in allegations of sexual abuse by the same Filipino priest.

Maramba’s lawyers said he was not party to the settlement.

“Since Father Maramba was not a party to the proceedings that resulted in the reported settlement, there is nothing to deny or admit other than that he was assigned to the parish of Las Cruces in 1976-77,” said the statement from the law firm Saguisag, Carao & Associates. “That a settlement was reached does not in any way indicate fault on the part of any party.”

Maramba served at St. Genevieve Church in Las Cruces, N.M., from 1976-77 and at the Newman Center in Silver City, N.M., before being recalled to the Philippines in 1977 by his abbey.


After Tamayo was accused of abusing Rita Milla in the Los Angeles area, the church urged Tamayo to stay in the Philippines and mailed him checks, court documents show.

Milla has maintained that she was molested by Tamayo at a church in Carson, Calif., when she was 16. After she turned 18, she said, she had sexual intercourse with Tamayo and he introduced her to six other priests who also abused her.

After she was impregnated in 1982 by another priest at a Los Angeles-area church, Milla said, Tamayo suggested she get an abortion, then devised a plan to send her to the Philippines to have the child.

Milla returned to California after giving birth to her daughter, Jacqueline. She sued the archdiocese in 1984, and won a $500,000 settlement.

Tamayo later went to the Philippines. In 2004, Milla’s lawyer released documents showing the church mailed him checks. In three letters, church officials advised him not to reveal the source of the payments “unless requested under oath,” noting that he was “liable for personal suits arising out of your past actions.”

Tamayo admitted he had sex with Milla and publicly apologized years before his death in 1999.


Woodcock accused of molesting at least 11 boys at four different church facilities in New Zealand before being sent by the church to Ireland.

He was extradited to New Zealand in 2004, pleaded guilty to 21 sexual abuse charges involving 11 victims and was sentenced to seven years in jail. He was paroled in September 2009.

Society of Mary spokeswoman Lyndsay Freer told the AP “some families (of Woodcock’s victims) asked for him to be sent offshore … he was sent to Ireland for intensive psychotherapy. He had no permission to exercise his ministry or to be involved with youth.”

Woodcock was suspended from his ministry in the New Zealand branch of the Society of Mary in 1987, according to Freer. He was removed from the priesthood in 2001, she said.


Brothers Moloney and McGrath of the Australian branch of the St. John of God Order were both jailed in New Zealand for the sexual abuse of scores of children at a special school in the southern city of Christchurch in the 1970s. The order had transferred them to Australia, but they were extradited back to New Zealand by police to face sexual abuse charges.

Moloney was sentenced in 2008 to two years and nine months, and becomes eligible for parole later this month. At that time, the St. John of God Order said he will be deported to Australia.

“He’s a brother (in the order) but won’t have any active ministry. He will be in a retirement home,” the order’s spokesman, Simon Feely, told the AP.

St. John of God shifted McGrath to Australia “before the prison term and prior to the order knowing of any court case (over abuse charges),” Feely told the AP.

“McGrath was sacked by the (St. John of God) brothers several years ago. He is not a member of the order. They removed him,” Feely said.

McGrath was found guilty of 22 charges against nine victims aged 7 to 15 and sentenced to five years in 2006. He was paroled in February 2008, and reportedly is living in New Zealand.


Jeyapaul has been charged in Minnesota with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in connection with his work at a small church in the Crookston diocese in 2004-05. The charges stem from accusations that he groped a 14-year-old girl and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

Jeyapaul returned to India before the charges were filed and continues to work in the diocese of Ootacamund. After initially saying he would not return to the U.S. to face the charges, he and his bishop have since said they would go back if his extradition was requested.


Nelson was convicted in a New York court in 2003 of fondling a 12-year-old altar girl in the Brooklyn diocese. He was sentenced to four months in prison and has since returned to his church in the diocese of Kottar in southern India, where he works in the bishop’s office.


Godugunuru was forced to return to his native India and then transferred to Italy after pleading no contest to assaulting a 15-year-old girl in Bonifay, Fla. He now ministers to a parish in a medieval town of about 4,000 in Tuscany, where he hears confessions, celebrates Mass and works with children.

The bishops supervising him said they were aware of the case but believed he was innocent.

“The evidence that has been given does not support the accusation,” Monsignor Rodolfo Cetoloni, the bishop of the Montepulciano diocese, told the AP last week.

Cetoloni said he saw no reason for any restrictions.

Godugunuru was charged with fondling a parishioner in her family’s van on June 23, 2006. The priest had been visiting friends and was allowed by the diocese to assist at the Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Bonifay.

The priest was arrested the next month on charges of lewd or lascivious battery on a minor, subject to up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The priest denied the accusation but pleaded no contest in a deal that required him to return to India, undergo counseling, not supervise minors for a year and not return to the United States.


The 75-year-old Pezzotti was accused in abuse cases that date from 1959 at a now-closed Holliston, Mass., boarding school run by his Xaverian religious order.

Allegations against him surfaced in early 1993, but Pezzotti had already been sent to a remote area of Brazil’s Amazon to work as a missionary with the Kayapo Indians in 1970. Pezzotti was removed from Brazil for good and sent to Italy in 2008 after photos of him holding naked Kayapo children surfaced on the Internet, prompting one of his American victims — Joseph Callander — to contact the church and demand his removal.

In a 1993 handwritten note of apology from Pezzotti to Callander, the priest admitted passing “through a rather difficult moment” in the 1960s, and said he “asked to leave Holliston and to go to Brazil to change my life.”

“Upon my arrival in Brazil, confiding in God’s mercy, I owned up to the problem,” Pezzotti said.

Pezzotti now lives in the headquarters of his order in Parma, Italy. Reached by telephone, he declined comment.

“I don’t see why I have to talk about it. Everything was resolved and I don’t feel like talking,” Pezzotti said.


Brazilian police in Salvador in August 2009 said they were seeking Piazza’s arrest on abuse allegations made by eight boys. Police also accuse him of allowing foreign visitors to abuse boys.

Piazza ran an award-winning shelter for homeless children.

After three decades in Brazil, Piazza left in 2007 for missionary work in Mozambique. Brazilian prosecutors say Piazza has refused to respond to the charges.

Interviewed in Maputo, Mozambique, this week, Piazza said the charges were false and part of a campaign to blackmail him by “political circles” in Brazil that he did not identify.

“This is propaganda in order to earn money,” Piazza told the AP, saying people in Brazil had asked him for money.

He said he has been in Mozambique for about seven months living in a Jesuit residence and helping with “economic projects.” He said he was not working with children.


A Colombian, Diaz pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three boys while a priest at St. Leo’s Church and Our Lady of Sorrows Church in New York in the mid-1980s.

Diaz was sentenced in April 1991 to five years’ probation and four months of an “intermittent sentence.” He was deported and resumed work as a priest in Venezuela.

He was suspended from the priesthood in 1996 for 20 years after 18 boys in Venezuela accused him of molesting them.

Monsignor Francisco de Guruceaga, the bishop who hired Diaz in Venezuela, said it was not clear to him when the priest arrived that he had been charged with abusing children. De Guruceaga said Diaz told him he had problems with relationships with women, not molesting children.

Diaz returned to Colombia in 1996 and found work again as a priest. Colombian prosecutors say Diaz was charged in 2001 with molesting one more boy and pleaded guilty later that year.


Arregui, a Spaniard, is a member of the Clerics of Saint Viator. He was convicted in Chile on March 24 possessing child pornography and was sentenced to no fewer than 817 days in prison, without access to computer equipment.

Arregui came to Chile in January 2008 and has been jailed since Aug. 14, 2009, when Chilean police determined that he had downloaded child pornography.

Police found he had stored more than 400 hours of child porn videos, including ones he made with a hidden camera in three schools in Spain. The Chileans concluded from the children’s accents that they were Spanish, and alerted Spanish authorities, who began their own investigation early last year.

Ignacio Pelaez Marques, a Madrid lawyer for the Saint Viator order, said Arregui left just because he wanted to teach in Chile. He was employed at Saint Thomas University in Santiago.

The lawyer said there were never any complaints about Arregui from students in Spain. The Saint Viator order also denied any knowledge of pedophilia, saying Arregui left by his own volition to teach in Chile.


Cox had been bishop in La Serena, in northern Chile, for seven years when he was removed in 1997 amid rumors that he was a pedophile. He was first moved to Santiago, then Rome, then Colombia, and finally Germany.

In 2002, Santiago Archbishop Francisco Javier Erraruriz said Cox had agreed to be removed for “inappropriate conduct.” Erraruriz said Cox had shown “affection that was a bit exuberant,” especially toward children. The archbishop acknowledged the rumors, but said, “I’m not aware of any formal allegation backed by evidence and by someone willing to take responsibility.”

Erraruriz said Cox volunteered to be confined to a Schoenstatt convent in Colombia to continue “praying to God for his pardon for the errors he has made.”

Cox was given an administrative job in Santiago until 1999, then sent to Rome for psychiatric treatment, then in 2001 transferred to Colombia. He was later seen in Switzerland and then in a Schoenstatt sanctuary in Germany.


Aguirre was sent out of Chile twice amid abuse allegations and eventually sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The judge determined that the church had been aware of abuse allegations as early as 1994. Cardinal Carlos Oviedo sent Aguirre to Honduras, where he worked at a girls’ school. A mother accused him of abusing her daughters, then 13 and 16. He left Chile the next day — Sept. 30, 2002, again for Honduras.

Santiago Archbishop Francisco Javier Erraruriz in 2002 defended the decision to send Aguirre to Honduras the first time.

“According to what I’ve learned, the preachers are always accompanied by someone, and the effect is very positive. … The response seems to have been adequate in terms of his recuperation. Only afterward, with time, could we see that they were insufficient.”

Erraruriz sent Aguirre a letter in Honduras ordering him to come back and face justice. He was convicted in July 2003 of sexual abuse of nine teenage girls and the statutory rape of another.

One of the girls, identified as Paula, was quoted by the Chilean La Nacion daily as saying “I thought it wasn’t that bad to have sex with him because when I told priests about it at confession, they just told me to pray and that was it.”

She said one of those she confessed to about her sex with Aguirre was Bishop Cox, who himself was facing allegations of pedophilia.


In 1988 police began investigating reports that Rivera had molested children at two parishes in the archdiocese of Los Angeles — but Aguilar Rivera fled to his native Mexico before he could be arrested. U.S. authorities charged him in absentia with 19 felony counts for molesting 10 children and issued an arrest warrant.

Over the next 10 years, U.S. authorities sent repeated queries on the case to Mexico, but no action was taken.

Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony wrote to then-Bishop Norberto Rivera to ask for assistance in apprehending the priest. In his reply, the Mexican bishop said he had told Mahony of the priest’s “homosexual problems” in a confidential letter before Aguilar Rivera joined the Los Angeles archdiocese. Mahony replied that he had not received the letter.

Once in Mexico, Aguilar Rivera continued to act as a priest at least until 1994, when he was accused of abusing a teenage boy as a priest at the San Antonio de la Huertas church in Mexico City.

Aguilar Rivera was laicized last year, according to Bishop Accountability, a church watchdog group.


In 1989 Galvan pleaded guilty in Colorado to sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl. Galvan had the girl clean the rectory and his private room and on several occasions fondled her in his room, according to the girl’s attorney, Alan Higbee.

Galvan pleaded guilty in March 1989 to third-degree sexual assault and was given a suspended one-year jail sentence in a deferred judgment in which the charge was later dismissed. The girl settled a lawsuit against the Pueblo diocese for more than $90,000.

In 1992 Galvan became a priest at San Cayetano Church in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and stayed for five years. He transferred to Mexico City in 1997, where he is now an assistant pastor at the Parroquia Nuestra Senora del Sagrado Corazon y San Cayetano.


The diocese of Orange in Southern California received reports that the Rev. Eleuterio “Al” Ramos had abused children as early as 1975 and sent him for psychotherapy while allowing him to remain in ministry.

More allegations of abuse were reported in the late 1970s, and Ramos was eventually sent to St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland for about six months of treatment. Parishioners were told he was being treated for alcoholism.

Church officials transferred him to another parish upon his return, and he served in two more parishes between 1980 and 1985.

In 1985 Ramos called diocese officials to report that he had “slipped” and had an “incident” with a 17-year-old boy. Ramos assured his superiors that the parents were “not going legal.” Two months later, he was transferred to Divine Providence Church in the Diocese of Tijuana, Mexico.

The diocese of Orange provided Ramos with a car, paid him $332 a month and paid for car insurance valid in the United States. Ramos was to meet with his psychiatrist once a month and pay the $100 fee and obtain Mexican car insurance.

Ramos remained in Tijuana until at least 1993, when, according to an internal memo, diocese officials in California strongly urged Tijuana Bishop Emilio Berlie to remove him from active ministry, despite resistance from Berlie.

Ramos eventually returned to the U.S. and lived in a trailer in Whittier, Calif., before his death in 2004.


Tully, a member of the Xaverian Missionary Fathers order, served two stints in Sierra Leone, the second after being sentenced to probation in the U.S. in connection with charges of groping adolescent boys.

Tully first worked as a missionary in Sierra Leone between 1979 and 1985, according to sources who knew him in that African nation.

In 1991, in Franklin, Wis., Tully was accused of escorting three teenage boys to a baseball game, giving them alcohol and groping one of the youths. He pleaded no contest and was convicted of disorderly conduct in 1992.

He was sentenced to two years’ probation and barred from unsupervised contact with juveniles. He was transferred to the Institute of the Living for therapy in Hartford, Conn.

In 1994 Tully returned to Sierra Leone and remained there until a civil war forced him to be evacuated in 1998. He then returned to the U.S.

In 1998 William Nash told the Xaverians that Tully abused him while he was a 21-year-old student at the Xaverian Seminary in Milwaukee between 1986 and 1988. Nash received a $75,000 out-of-court settlement in 2005 from the Xaverians.

Soon after another alleged abuse victim in the Boston area came forward in 2002, Tully was moved from the U.S. to Rome and was assigned to a non-ministerial position. He was laicized in January 2009 and now lives in New Jersey.

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