July 29, 2005

Ireland won't give up priest

The Arizona Republic

Michael Kiefer
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 29, 2005 12:00 AM

The Irish High Court ruled this week that it would not extradite a Catholic priest to stand trial in Arizona on two felony counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

Patrick Oliver Colleary is accused of having sex with a teenage boy in 1978, while Colleary was a priest at a church in Scottsdale. But he was not charged until 2003, after he had already returned to Ireland.

In a rambling 37-page decision released Wednesday, Judge Phillip O'Sullivan of the Irish High Court noted that the case would probably be thrown out of Irish courts because the charges were filed 25 years after the alleged crimes took place.

He also stated that Arizona's practice of denying bond to certain accused sex offenders violated rights under the Irish Constitution, and that prior newspaper coverage would endanger Colleary's chances of getting a fair trial.

Furthermore, O'Sullivan feared that Colleary would be sent to a Maricopa County jail and kept under inhumane conditions that included wearing pink underwear.

Posted by kshaw at July 29, 2005 08:31 AM