Fugitive New Mexico priest awaits trial behind bars for sexual abuse allegations

Fugitive New Mexico priest awaits trial behind bars for sexual abuse allegations

U.S. Attorney John Anderson, center at podium, speaks about the investigation into a fugitive Catholic priest who is accused of sex abuse at a news conference Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Albuquerque, N.M. A former New Mexico priest who fled the U.S. decades ago amid allegations of child sex abuse will await trial behind bars, a federal judge decided Tuesday, as his accusers in the audience applauded.

Defence attorney Samuel Winder argued in court that Arthur Perrault was not a flight risk as he had no passport, no family and no means of leaving the country. But prosecutors described him as a danger to the community who fled before.

WATCH: Pope calls meeting of key bishops on sexual abuse “He is known to manipulate and gain the trust of people,” federal Prosecutor Sean Sullivan told U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen. “Honestly, a jail setting is the best setting for the defendant to be.”

Molzen agreed and called Perrault a “very charming man” who once fled to a country that didn’t have an extradition treaty with the U.S.

Court documents filed late last week said victims described Perrault showering them with gifts and meals before abusing them. They also described Perrault as someone who smoked pipes and wore silk underwear.

WATCH: ‘War’ taking place in Vatican following claims that Pope knew about allegations against McCarrick The documents said the Connecticut-born Perrault also once wrote an apology letter to the parents of one victim in 1971 and blamed his actions on cancer, which prosecutors […]

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