March 04, 2006

Attorney: Kissing is not abuse

Fort Worth Star-Telegram


FORT WORTH -- A former Arlington priest's repeated kissing of two sisters in the 1970s, even if true, amounts to unacceptable conduct, not sexual abuse, according to court documents filed in state district court on Friday.
In the documents, the first detailed response to allegations raised by six women, the attorney for the Rev. Joseph Tu Ngoc Nguyen also says he was previously unaware of a sexual misconduct allegation involving a 13-year-old Arlington girl in the 1970s. The allegation, raised recently in court documents, resulted in Tu's temporary suspension Sunday from the Houston church he now serves.
Tu's attorney, H. Allen Pennington Jr. of Fort Worth, asked in a court filing to question four of Tu's accusers: the three who said they were minors and another who says she was an adult when Tu fondled her breast, according to the court documents.
"No one has ever accused Father Tu of attempted or actual genital contact or the attempted touching of any genital area involving a child or an adult," Pennington wrote.

Posted by kshaw at March 4, 2006 06:53 AM