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  Home :: 2006 December :: Police look into abuse claims against priest
http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/local/16167840.htm
 

North Richland Hills police are investigating an allegation of aFebruary 1994 aggravated sexual assault of a boy younger than 14 thatwas forwarded to the agency by the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese.The incident is alleged to have occurred at what is now a stripshopping center in the 7000 block of Northeast Loop 820, North RichlandHills police Sgt. Ken Bounds said Monday. Other details concerning theincident -- including information about the suspect -- could not bereleased, Bounds said.

"We think the detective might be able to resolve the case" soon, Bounds said.
 
 
The diocese reported the information to police Nov. 8, Bounds said.

Diocese leaders have said that they forwarded an allegation ofsexual abuse of a minor to a local police department within the pastmonth.

They have declined to name the department or the priest involved.Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann, leader of the diocese, has said only thatthe unnamed priest was "one of the seven" previously accused. He wasreferring to the Revs. William Hoover, John Howlett, James Reilly,James Hanlon, Philip Magaldi, Rudolf RenterĂ­a and Joseph Tu Ngoc Nguyen.

Hoover, Reilly and Hanlon are dead.

Of the remaining clerics, only Magaldi was working in North RichlandHills in 1994. Magaldi served as associate pastor at St. John theApostle, at 7341 Glenview Drive, from July 1993 until August 1998. Atleast two of the other accused priests served in the area at thattime.Bounds said he was unsure whether a suspect in the case has beencontacted by investigators.

Magaldi's friend and caregiver, Jerry Koller, said he doesn'tbelieve that Magaldi is a subject of the investigation because policehave contacted neither the priest nor him. Magaldi, who Koller has saidsuffers from a number of ailments, including dementia, lives in anassisted-living care center.

Another of the accused priests, Hanlon, worked at the church from June 1986 until July 1987. Hanlon died in 1990.

Diocese officials could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

Magaldi was forced to retire from the ministry in April 1999 afterhe was accused of two instances of sexual misconduct. Magaldi hasdenied the accusations.

Diocese officials revealed the new allegation against the unnamedpriest last week after confidential diocese files were released by astate district judge. The files show that former leaders misled peopleabout the extent of the abuse allegations.

There is no evidence that police were notified of the allegations, which include rape and molestation of children.

Allegations involving abuse of minors as far back as the 1990s couldstill be criminally prosecuted, David Montague, a senior staff lawyerfor the Tarrant County district attorney's office, said Monday. Texaslaw gives accusers 10 years after their 18th birthdays to take action.

Also on Monday, members of the Survivors Network of those Abused byPriests hand-delivered a letter to the district attorney's officeasking it to use its subpoena power to further investigate the materialin the files.

Montague has said the files are under review.

With news crews filming, Mary Grant, western regional director ofSNAP, told Montague she wants the district attorney to use his "bullypulpit" to ask additional victims to come forward.

Montague responded that investigators would welcome talking tovictims but that "we will not conduct an investigation on television."


Darren Barbee, 817-390-7126 dbarbee@star-telegram.com
 


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Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia