Black Collar CrimesClergy Crimes

November 2000 – March 2001

M – W

  • Maryland
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  • New York
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    WASHINGTON COUNTY – An Episcopal priest accused of molesting two boys at a boarding school in western Maryland more than a decade ago has been extradited and is expected to arrive there for a bond hearing, authorities said.

    Fr. Kenneth Kurt Behrel, 51, who had been rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church since 1985, had been arrested in Feb. at his home in Grayslake, a suburb of Chicago.

    Behrel appeared in court and waived extradition, the assistant state's attorney said. Drug and weapons charges that Behrel faced locally were dropped, he said. Those charges stemmed from a search of Behrel's home during which authorities allegedly found a small amount of cocaine and three firearms for which Behrel lacked proper identification.

    Behrel faces two counts of sexual child abuse in Washington County, MD. If convicted, he could be placed on probation or sentenced up to 15 years in prison, said a prosecutor there.

    Behrel is charged in connection with his alleged contact with two boys, 12 and 16, in the early to mid–1980s, authorities said. The allegations surfaced when one of the alleged victims, now in his 20s,went to authorities, assistant state's attorney said.

    Maryland authorities contacted Lake County, IL, prosecutors and requested their help in finding and investigating Behrel, he said.

    Authorities began investigating Behrel in April 1998 after a former student at the St. James School here reported to the sheriff's office in Montana that Behrel had molested him in the mid–1980s. Montana authorities referred the case to Maryland.

    The Montana man pointed investigators to another former student, now living in Alexandria, who said Behrel also abused him, Potter said.
    Chicago Tribune 3/13/2001, AP 2/8



    SALEM – Former church worker Christopher Reardon, 28, kept meticulous records of his abuse, noting everything from his victims' physical attributes to where he molested them, according to prosecution documents recently unsealed.

    Reardon was arrested last June and indicted on 131 charges involving 29 boys, ranging from child rape to disseminating child pornography.

    A superior court judgeremoved the impoundment on four lists allegedly compiled by Reardon including two written by hand at the request of the media, and over the objections of prosecutors.

    The lists show that Reardon neatly documented the dates and places he allegedly molested pre–pubescent boys, and noted the sexual activity they engaged in.

    "Saw, talked to naked, didn't care," Reardon allegedly wrote about one boy on a list that contains nearly 1,000 observations.

    Among the prosecution exhibits unsealed were two handwritten charts Reardon kept on 32 boys he allegedly molested.

    Reardon's estranged wife Pamela on his nightstand found the charts after his arrest. She turned the charts over to investigators, and identified the handwriting as Reardon's.

    The lists detail Reardon's observation of the hundreds of boys, dating back to 1994, and include descriptions of their genitalia and how and when he saw them.

    When he was arrested, Reardon was a well–known youth leader at St. Agnes Church in Middleton. He also was camp coordinator for the YMCA in nearby Danvers, a volunteer with the Boy Scouts and part–time youth minister at St. Rose of Lima Church in Topsfield.

    Fr. Jon C. Martin, 62, pastor at St. Agnes Church, where Reardon allegedly molested dozens of boys, has resigned his post. In the days following the arrest of Reardon, he appeared near collapse while saying Mass. A major witness in the case, he had been on sabbatical since then.

    The Globe reported that Martin had told a grand jury that he had been warned by another priest who "had concerns" about Reardon's behavior around children, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

    The article also said Martin had broken his own rules about allowing lay people on the second floor of the rectory, by allowing several troubled men to stay at the church overnight.

    Still, Martin maintained that he never noticed Reardon's alleged offenses, even though they repeatedly took place only a few feet from Martin's own sitting room and bedroom.

    Globe, AP, 3/8/2001, 3/7, 2/25, 2/7

    BOSTON – In a lawsuit filed in Superior Court, a nephew, now 46, accuses the late Fr. William H. Morgan of sexually abusing him from the time he was about three until he was about 12, while the priest was assigned to St. John's parish in Canton. Morgan had already admitted molesting two other young relatives.
    Globe, 2/5/2001

    BOSTON – Twenty-four people who say they were molested by a defrocked priest have added Boston's archbishop Card. Bernard Law to their sexual abuse lawsuit, claiming Law knew about the abuse and didn't do enough to stop it.

    Eighty-four people have filed suit against John J. Geoghan, 65. The former priest was defrocked by the Archdiocese in the wake of dozens of similar claims.

    But the actions came too late and Law is to blame for failing to keep Geoghan away from children, the suit said.

    "(Law) kept it to himself and he knew about it, and not only that, but he was directly responsible for placing the child rapist at additional churches after he learned he was a rapist," Mark Keane said.

    Keane claims Geoghan put his hand down his swimming trunks in 1980 when Keane was an 11.
    Patrick McSorley, 26, said he was molested in 1986 when the priest took him out for ice cream.

    The unemployed cable installer and father of a 2-year-old son said he grew up "very confused, very frightened" and has difficulty forming relationships now.

    Geoghan faces suits from people who claim he molested them as far back as the 1960s.

    Over the past several years, the Archdiocese of Boston reportedly has paid millions of dollars to settle nearly two dozen sex abuse claims against Geoghan, who served as a priest at five parishes in Boston, Saugus, Hingham and Weston between 1962 and 1994.

    The complaint seeks unspecified monetary damages from Law. The amended complaints also name as a defendant Fr. Paul E. Miceli, a member of Law's cabinet, also for allegedly failing to intervene after knowing that Geoghan was accused of being a molester. The complaints allege that Miceli knew of concerns about Geoghan as early as 1973, when a mother of four boys allegedly told Miceli that Geoghan had molested her four sons.

    Boston Globe 1/30/2001, AP 1/29

    CHARLESTOWN – In lawsuits filed in Superior Court, three men – now 20, 21 and 26 years old respectively – accused Fr. Robert M. Burns of sexually assaulting them during the mid-to-late-1980s while he was assigned as a vicar and altar boy instructor at St. Mary's Church in Charlestown.

    The plaintiffs' complaints allege that Bp. James Malone of the Youngstown, Ohio, diocese, consented to Burns' transfer to the Boston area only after receiving assurances from church officials that Burns was receiving psychiatric treatment and would not have solitary contact with young boys. Malone has since died.

    The molestations of the Charlestown boys allegedly occurred at the St. Mary's rectory and on field trips after Burns was assigned as a priest at St. Mary's in 1985.
    Boston Herald, 1/23/2001



    GAINESVILLE – A pastor has been convicted of abducting 6 of his grandchildren and holding them for years while he indoctrinated them in his anti–Semitic beliefs. The jury recommended he get the maximum sentence of 30 years.

    They had deliberated about an hour to find Rev. Gordon Winrod, 73, guilty.

    He was accused of abducting his grandchildren from their fathers in North Dakota in the mid–1990s and hiding them on his 300–acre ranch for several years. Prosecutors said Winrod brainwashed the children.

    Authorities have linked Winrod and his church, Our Saviors Church, to the Christian Identity movement, which considers white Christians superior to nonwhites and Jews. They said Winrod sent out thousands of newsletters around the country each year, often calling for the killing of Jews.

    One of Winrod's grandchildren, Erika Leppert, testified that she was held for 6 years and was taught Winrod's anti–Semitic beliefs. She said she and the other children were also taught to distrust government and authority.

    She said Winrod would inflict whippings on the children when they did wrong and preach to them that "Jews were the living Antichrist."

    Leppert, 18, left the farm on her own in Feb., but six of her siblings and cousins stayed behind. Following Winrod's arrest last May, his grandchildren, ages 9 to 16, barricaded themselves on the farm for four days until Winrod persuaded them to surrender.

    Town residents were relieved by the verdict.

    "This man has so much hatred in him that he has had many people around here bullied for years, said Troy Harper, 67, the owner of an appliance repair shop. "This will put many minds at ease."

    Two of Winrod's children, Carol, 28 and Stephen, 33, also face child abduction charges. They are awaiting trial.

    The children's mothers, Winrod's other daughters, are already serving prison terms for child abduction. The children's fathers said at least one of the children is still receiving psychiatric treatment.

    Sentencing was set for March 12.
    AP, 1/31/2001



    BERGEN – A priest who helped lead a youth ministry at his Wyckoff church has been charged with fondling a young parishioner, authorities said.

    Fr. Michael C. Fugee, 40, one of three priests assigned to St. Elizabeth's Church, was arrested at police headquarters by the sex crimes and child abuse squad of the County Prosecutor's Office.

    He was charged with one count of criminal sexual contact and released on $10,000 bail. He was ordered to have no contact with the boy, whom Fugee allegedly fondled "on several occasions" in 1999. The boy was 13 at the time.

    "What happened was, [the boy] confided in a family friend who confided in the Police Department," said the prosecutor, explaining the lag time between the alleged encounters and the investigation.

    The incidents allegedly occurred in a Wyckoff residence, although not the Wyckoff Avenue rectory where Fugee lived for four years with his fellow priests.

    At St. Elizabeth's, Fugee's duties included counseling couples in the pre–marriage program, working with the seniors group, and representing the church at the Wyckoff Clergy Association, according to his biography, which was posted on the parish Web site.

    He also was involved in Gather the Children, a parish youth group geared toward children in Grades 1–5, and was a religious educator, the site said.

    The prosecutor would not comment on whether the boy belonged to any group that Fugee supervised.

    One of Fugee's colleagues at St. Elizabeth's, Fr. Miroslaw K. Krol, referred inquiries to a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, who declined to comment on the allegations and would not say whether church officials intend to address the parish. He would not say what, if any, association Fugee had with the parish–run, K–8 parochial school adjacent to the church.

    His lawyer said the boy was not a parishioner but that his mother might be. He said Fugee was a friend of the boy's family. He also said the priest was not a teacher at the parish school, nor did he teach in the church's religious–education program.

    Fugee holds a psychology degree from Seton Hall University and was ordained in May 1994, according to St. Elizabeth's Web site. He spent three years as a vicar at St. Rose of Lima Church in Millburn, then joined the Wyckoff parish in Dec. 1997.

    Prosecutors said they have no reason to believe Fugee was involved with anyone but the one boy.
    Record, 3/22/200l, 3/21

    BERGEN - Allegations of emotional and physical abuse had been mounting against a former rabbi, but the case took a new turn when he was charged in Monmouth County with sexually molesting two teenagers while he was the principal of an Orthodox high school.

    The criminal charges brought by grand jurors against Baruch Lanner, 50, include aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal sexual contact, and endangering the welfare of children.
    Monmouth County prosecutors convened the grand jury after two girls accused Lanner of fondling them in his principal's office at the Hillel Yeshiva High School in Ocean Township between 1992 and 1997.

    Both were under the age of 16 at the time and told authorities that Lanner touched them during "counseling sessions" during and after school hours, assistant county attorney Robert A. Honecker, Jr. said.

    Lanner was to be allowed to surrender for an arraignment soon, when prosecutors will ask that a judge set bail, Honecker said. If convicted, he would face up to 20 years in state prison.
    Watching closely will be authorities in Bergen County.

    A former student had told The Record that Lanner had often brushed against her when she was a 15-year-old sophomore at The Frisch School in Paramus. She alleged the misconduct began around 1981 and occurred "many, many times" over a three-year period, most of it at Frisch. She said Lanner was a married rabbi with 3 children at the time.

    That account followed publication in the New York Jewish Week newspaper of an article documenting allegations that Lanner had sexually abused young girls and physically abused teenage boys over nearly 20 years while he was a teacher and counselor for the youth arm of the Orthodox Union.

    The revelations led to an internal review by the union and the resignation of one of its leaders after it was determined that top officials were aware of Lanner's alleged conduct but failed to remove him.

    Bergen County prosecutors said that they could not confirm or deny that they were investigating Lanner. But they said they are interested in any allegations that might formally be brought to their attention.

    Lanner was fired as youth program director for the Manhattan-based organization, which represents about 1,000 synagogues and provides adult education, political action, and youth work, along with the world's largest kosher supervision.

    Monmouth County prosecutors said one girl alleged that he molested her on "numerous occasions" between September 1992 and June 1994, while Lanner was principal at Hillel. The second girl said he molested her several times between October 1996 and May 1997.

    Shayndee Hiller said she cried tears of joy when she learned of the indictment. "Thank God the day has come," the former Teaneck resident said.

    Hiller thought back to a time two decades ago, when, she said, rabbis and community leaders shrugged off her complaints that Lanner had repeatedly kicked her son in the groin and once threatened him with a knife.

    Orthodox Union officials would not comment Wednesday. Instead, they issued a prepared statement: "While we are not aware of the particulars of the Monmouth County indictment, the Orthodox Union believes that Rabbi Lanner's behavior, while in its employ, was repugnant."

    The statement also noted that the union has apologized to Lanner's alleged victims and will continue to implement procedural and policy changes to protect its youth against abuse. Those reforms include sensitivity training for youth advisers, more stringent sexual harassment guidelines, and a uniform procedure for complaints.

    But Hiller and others expressed frustration over the union's apparent lack of action against those who they said covered up Lanner's behavior so many years. "They are not dealing with who is to blame for what happened," Hiller said. "Lanner could have been stopped."
    Record 3/22/2001



    BROOKLYN – Rabbi Jacob Bronner, who served as a top aide to former New York Mayor Ed Koch and sat on the city's Human Rights Commission, and Rabbi Efroim Stein, have pleaded guilty to taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from a fund that had been set aside for survivors of the Nazi Holocaust.

    Project Social Care was set up in 1994 to assist needy Holocaust survivors with job training, counseling, housing and medical care. The program originally had a kitty of $2.5 million in taxpayer funds.

    Stein funneled money back to himself by utilizing family members and kickbacks to his own synagogue. Both men, it appears, provided fake bills for goods and services they never procured for needy Holocaust survivors. Worse, the two men corrupted the Council of Jewish Organizations of Borough Park with their largess.

    In exchange for monies provided by Project Social Care, the council was required to give kickbacks to businesses controlled by the two rabbis. Several council members involved were tried and convicted.

    "If you can't trust your own rabbi with your hard–earned tax dollars to care for elderly Holocaust survivors, whom can you trust? It's like finding out Mickey Mantle is a child molester. Or that your president sold nuclear secrets to China in exchange for campaign contributions – wait, that did happen," said Bernie Cohen, a Long Island–based stock trader.
    World Net Daily, 2/13/2001



    LEXINGTON – Investigators say Rev. Claude Russell Morrison, Jr., 37, was arrested after he solicited an undercover male officer and then grabbed the officer in the crotch. The alleged incident happened on Feb. 27 in Childress Park in Lexington. Investigators say Morrison's arrest is one of five made in the park since Jan. Morrison resigned as pastor of the Fork Baptist Church in Mocksville after the arrest. He was scheduled to appear in court in April.
    WXII, 3/9/2001



    PORTLAND – Donald Ralph Donaldson, 49, is being held in the county jail on $1 million bond.

    Police believe that Donaldson may have sexually molested as many as 78 children over several years. Because of statute of limitation violations, the district attorney is not seeking prosecution on most of the cases. However, Donaldson has been indicted for allegedly sexually molesting a single, more recent victim.

    The suspect contacted many of his alleged victims through his volunteer work with the Seventh–day Adventist Church in Portland, Gaston, OR, and Walla Walla, WA, investigators say.

    The Washington County Sheriff's Office says that there may be more victims who have not contacted police.
    KOIN, 3/16/2001



    ALLANTOWN – The sexual abuse case against a youth church counselor escalated when police charged him with sex crimes against 12 more boys.

    Howard Earl White Jr., 39, who was out on bail after being charged in Feb. with sexually abusing four boys, was charged with luring 12 boys to his apartment and forcing them to perform simulated sexual acts, Perkasie police said. He is also charged with sexually assaulting six of the boys, crimes authorities said were captured on video. Perkasie police identified the victims from seven videos seized from White's apartment. Authorities are still investigating the case, and believe there may be more victims who have not come forward.

    White, a landscaper and volunteer youth counselor at East Swamp Mennonite Church in Richland Township, was able to appeal to the boys by taking interest in their church activities, such as softball and baseball games. White also worked as a janitor at Calvary Church in Hilltown and as a counselor at summer church camps.

    In addition to the 4 counts of sexual abuse of children and sexual corruption of minors filed in Feb., White is charged with 6 counts of indecent assault, 12 counts of sexual corruption of a minor and 9 counts of sexual abuse of children. The judge set White's new bail at $500,000. He had been released on $100,000 bail in Feb. and was living with his mother.

    A hearing on the original complaint was set for April 25. If convicted, White could face up to 368 years in prison and $640,000 in fines. Jeff Supp, a pastor at Calvary Church, said White was forced to take a leave of absence from his janitor job after he allegedly showed inappropriate videos to eighth–grade boys in 1997. In a statement released last month, the church said White was reinstated "after fulfilling the required leave as well as other disciplinary action," which included writing a letter of apology to the boys' parents. Authorities learned about White's recent alleged actions when one of the boys confided in his older brother and then came to Perkasie police Detective Russel Closs in Feb.

    "One brave boy came forward, and that's all it took," Closs said. He said White would lure the boys to his house and play video games. Then White would show them professionally made pornographic videos, Closs said. After getting to know the boys better, White would get them to simulate and perform sexual acts with objects while videotaping them, Closs said. The prosecutor said the assaults on the boys, between the ages of 12 and 15, began in November 1997 and continued through Feb. White, worked as a youth ministry leader at East Swamp about 9 months. "There was nothing to indicate that he was this type of person," Closs said. "As far I know, he doesn't have any other kind of background."
    The Morning Call, 3/31/01



    GREENWOOD – A Baptist minister and former elementary school aide who videotaped himself molesting children pleaded guilty to sexually abusing nearly two dozen youngsters and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

    Rev. Fernando Garcia, 42, pleaded guilty to 47 counts. He admitted molesting 23 victims ages 5 to 13 at his church office and at the school.

    After his plea, he stared at the courtroom floor while the mother of two of the victims, boys 10 and 12 at the time, called Garcia "this evil incarnate" and said her family would never be the same.

    Garcia, who grew up in Mexico, said that as a boy he was abused by a Roman Catholic priest.

    "Your kids need special counseling. I don't know what I can do to help," he said. "What you are seeing here is the result of somebody who never took the chance to be counseled."

    Garcia was recommended strongly from his previous ministry in Carson City, Nev., when came here in 1998 to work with the Abbeville Baptist Association. The umbrella group for local churches was looking for a minister to serve the growing Hispanic population in this textile town of 20,000 people.

    He held Sunday night services in Spanish at a local church and performed counseling.

    "He could speak English and Spanish. He was gifted in music and preaching," Wallace Hughes, the Baptist association's director of missions, said last summer.

    Police said that in Garcia's office at the Baptist association, they found 26 videotapes of him sexually abusing children. The tapes came to light after an 8–year–old boy told his mother in May that he had been molested by Garcia.

    Police also found a list of 145 names indicating Garcia may have molested more children and young men, some of them in two other states.

    Garcia's wife, Leticia, sobbed as she spoke in Spanish on her husband's behalf. "This is a different Fernando than what I used to know," she said through an interpreter.
    AP 1/29/2001



    WAUKESHA – A former Menomonee Falls Bible school teacher and Army colonel offered to set up child molesters with children he befriended at a summer camp, jurors were told. Shortly before he was sent to prison in 1994 for molesting two young girls, the teacher, Fritz Callies, 67, answered ads in a child pornography magazine called Ugly Duckling, Milwaukee postal inspector Daniel Kakonis testified.

    The magazine was part of a national sting operation by the US Postal Service to find child pornography traffickers, said Kakonis, who helped run the operation.

    In a trial to determine if Callies, is a sexual predator who should be involuntarily hospitalized for treatment, Kakonis testified that Callies wrote to one man in a magazine ad, offering to find young girls for him.

    Reading from Callies' letter, Kakonis said Callies wrote that he had "worked his way into a position" at a summer Bible camp where "I meet 100–plus (girls) a week.""I can fix you up with some suitable friends," Kakonis quoted Callies as writing in the same letter. "But I need to know your exact interests and fantasies."

    In the letter, Callies enclosed a photo that showed dozens of girls standing in a long line at a Bible summer camp, Assistant State Attorney General William Hanrahan showed the jury.Callies wrote that some girls were shy and modest while others were "exhibitionists from the word go," Kakonis quoted from the letter.

    But when Kakonis, posing as the man in the magazine, wrote back to Callies and said he wanted to have sexual intercourse with one of Callies' girls, Callies was offended, Kakonis told the jury.

    Callies wrote back with a denial, saying that "these are kids from Christian backgrounds" who would tell if sexual activity progressed from touching to intercourse, Kakonis said. Callies added that he did not want to ruin his trusted relationship with the girls, the postal inspector said.

    From Aug. 1992 to Nov. 1992, Callies corresponded with 20 to 25 individuals in the magazine, offering to sell to some of them copies of a children's book he published titled "Playing with Grown–ups.

    "The book mixes Bible quotations with children's games, included "lap–sitting games." Numerous women testified in court that Callies had molested them as they sat on his lap and he read to them.

    One woman testified that during a sleepover at Callies' home, Callies molested her in bed while he had her recite "The Lord's Prayer" with him.

    In letters to magazine ad writers, Callies also asked for photos or access to young girls, Kakonis testified.

    Callies enclosed one photo of a young girl with no shirt on standing next to a tree, a photo Kakonis said was considered child "erotica" or nudes – and not child pornography.

    When postal service agents raided Callies' home, they did not find child porn and he was not charged for any of the nude child photos he had, Kakonis testified under cross–examination by Callies' lawyers.

    However, about the same time as the sting, two girls accused Callies of molesting them. He was charged, convicted and sentenced in 1994 to eight years in prison, said Hanrahan, the prosecutor.

    Callies was scheduled to be released from prison in Nov. 1999. The day before his release, Hanrahan filed paperwork to block the release and asked for a trial to determine if Callies should be involuntarily committed to a mental ward for sexual offender treatment.

    Callies' attorneys have argued that Callies is not in the upper echelon of convicted sex offenders in the state who need to be hospitalized in a locked facility.

    They have argued that he has served his time and should be returned to the community to continue sexual offender treatment there.

    A licensed psychologist also testified that Callies, who is diagnosed as a pedophile, was kicked out of sex offender treatment programs twice during his five years behind bars.

    Margaret Alexander, clinical director of the sex offender treatment program at Oshkosh Correctional Institution, said Callies was terminated in 1995 and 1997 for failing to make sufficient progress and for holding back information about his fantasies, though she conceded under cross–examination that he had made some progress.
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2/8/2001

    MILWAUKEE – A local pastor who molested young boys for more than two decades was sentenced to 7 years in prison.

    Dr. Matthew Tyler, who is also a college professor, was linked to numerous sexual assaults in 4 states dating back to the late 1970s.

    Tyler will receive an additional 13 years of supervision following his time in prison.

    Last year, Tyler fondled the 15–year–old son of family friends. Prosecutors say the assault was the latest in a trail of assaults in Louisiana, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin.

    In court, the mother of that victim spoke out against Tyler.

    "Judge, I think that he needs to be off the streets," she said. "We need to prevent and protect all young males from this man – from being traumatized and being victimized. I think you need to send him to prison for a long time."

    One victim who spoke out, though not wanting to be identified, was 17 when Tyler coached the teen's church basketball team and offered to help get the boy into pre–college classes at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

    "Seeing he had a foot in the door because he was working at UWM, I thought that would matter or whatever," the victim said.

    But after a meeting in Tyler's office, the professor assaulted him.

    "This should never have happened," he said. "It was just unbelievable."

    In 1979, six boys told police that Tyler performed so–called strip searches and hernia checks at the Louisiana residential facility where he worked.

    In Missouri in the mid–1980s, 5 boys said that Tyler fondled them on church outings, and in the mid–1990s, 2 Texas boys also reported that Tyler fondled them.

    In June 1996, Tyler was hired as the director of UWM's Academic Opportunity Center. The job lasted five months and ended with another allegation of sexual assault.

    Tyler had been living in his Fox Point, Wis., home until his sentencing.
    WISN 2/7/2001



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