October 19, 2005

Priest could face criminal sex charges

The Oregonian

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
A court filing in the Portland Archdiocese bankruptcy includes this revelation: One of the priests accused of abusing half a dozen boys has asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 80 times.

This raises the possibility that for the first time in more than 20 years, a Portland priest might face criminal prosecution for alleged sexual abuse.

Thomas E. Cooney, the attorney for the Rev. Donald Durand, said the accusations against his client were false.

"A claimant's lawyer has advised that a client of his contends that he was sexually abused and allegedly it is within the criminal statute of limitations," Cooney said Tuesday. "Father Durand adamantly denies that. But in order to protect his rights, we claim the Fifth Amendment until we can depose this guy to see what he has to say."

Gary Bisaccio, one of the accuser's attorneys, said his client has so far refused to go to the police.

"He's very scared. That's the problem we have," Bisaccio said.

Posted by kshaw at October 19, 2005 06:50 AM