November 22, 2005

Priest accused of sex crimes

The Arizona Republic

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 22, 2005 12:00 AM

Monsignor Dale Fushek, once one of the most popular and powerful priests in the Phoenix Diocese, was accused Monday of sexual misconduct with teenage boys and young men.

In announcing Fushek's arrest on 10 misdemeanor criminal counts, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said, "It's troubling any time a person in a position of public trust violates that."

Thomas said the investigation is continuing and that more serious charges are possible.

Fushek, 53, is accused of indecent exposure, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and assault involving five minors and two young adult men.

His attorney, Michael Manning, said Fushek insists the incidents "never happened" and will fight the charges. . The teenage boys and young men appear to have been associated with Life Teen, a popular youth ministry that Fushek founded in 1985. Authorities say the incidents occurred from 1984 to 1994 and took place at St. Timothy Church in Mesa. Fushek was an influential and well-liked pastor there for 20 years.

Posted by kshaw at November 22, 2005 08:43 AM