October 21, 2005

Portland-area priest may face prosecution


Associated Press

PORTLAND (AP) — A Portland priest could be facing criminal prosecution for alleged sexual abuse.

A recent court filing in the Portland Archdiocese bankruptcy case showed that one of the priests accused of abusing half a dozen boys has asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 80 times.

Thomas E. Cooney, the attorney for the Rev. Donald Durand, told The Oregonian that 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.”

Durand was ordained in 1958. He has served in parishes in Portland, Salem, Corvallis and Silverton, before his retirement in 2001 after nine years as pastor of St. Clare in Southwest Portland, said Bud Bunce, archdiocese spokesman.

Posted by kshaw at October 21, 2005 08:39 AM