March 21, 2006

Fla. Judge Grants Bond To Priest Charged With Sexual Abuse

Local 6

POSTED: 7:01 am EST March 21, 2006

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A Broward judge has granted bond to a retired Roman Catholic priest charged with sexually abusing a young boy.

Neil Doherty can be released on $70,000 bond, Broward Circuit Judge Susan Lebow ruled Monday. Doherty must surrender his passport, cannot have contact with the alleged victim or with children younger than 18 and must wear an electronic monitoring device.

The former priest at St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Margate was arrested in January on eight counts of sexual battery, lewd and lascivious acts and molestation. He was denied bail a day after he was arrested at a Fort Lauderdale hotel.

Lebow said there was not adequate evidence to keep Doherty in jail.

"The defendant is a major threat to the community, especially to young people," said prosecutor Dennis Siegel. "He has a lengthy history."

Posted by kshaw at March 21, 2006 07:11 AM