Boys in Sex Case Admit Lying to Police, AG

By Kay Bird
New Mexican Staff
October 7, 1987

The two boys named in a. grand jury indictment as having been molested by the Rev. Dennis Fountain admitted Tuesday that they had lied at various times throughout the investigation but said the priest had sexually touched them.

In the second day of the hearing to determine whether enough evidence exists to try Fountain on three counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor, the boys, both former students of St. Catherine Indian School, gave different reasons for not being completely honest.

Fountain was charged earlier this year with 167 counts of sexual impropriety involving three boys, but the indictment was dismissed because it was found that a prosecutor meddled in the grand jury's deliberations.

The 14-year-old boy, who continued his testimony from Monday, said he lied because he felt "mad and scared."

He said that during an interview with defense attorney John Wentworth he said he didn't remember the times Fountain touched him because "l didn't really know (Wentworth). I was around lots of people." The boy testified Tuesday that he remembered Fountain touching him twice and one of those times, he saw Fountain's hand on his groin.

This contradicted the earlier interview with Wentworth, when the boy said he didn't remember ever .seeing Fountain's hand on his groin.

The second boy, who is 15, said he lied during his first interview with Santa Fe police authorities.

“I said I hadn't been touched because I thought I was the only one and I didn't know what to say," he said. "It's not every day somebody asks you these kinds of questions."

Both boys said they were trying to forget the incidents.

"This happened a long time ago and after everybody started asking me all these question, I started to forget things. It was way in the back (of my mind)," the 15-year-old said, as he broke into tears.

The 14-year-old said he told police what he thought they wanted to hear so he could get away from them.

But the l5-year-old also said he viewed s kiss on the lips given to him by Fountain when the boy was sick as a caring, loving gesture.

Terry Brennan, a former dormitory moderator at St. Catherine until he was placed on administrative leave in December, testified Tuesday that he had seen Fountain manipulating one boy's penis for three to five minutes.

Brennan said he contacted Santa Fe Indian Hospital psychologist Jerry Kinkade the next day about what he saw.

Brennan said he was in "the apartment," a sort of recreation room/ lounge at the school, when he witnessed the incident.

He flipped loudly through a magazine, hoping to divert Fountain's attention, Brennan said. When Fountain looked at him, Bl'ennan gave him a hard look, hoping to relay his thoughts about what was going on, he said.

Both boys said they frequented Fountain's apartment, even after they said they were molested, to watch television, read the newspaper and withdraw money from a savings envelope Fountain held for each boy,

During a cross-examination by Wentworth, Brennan admitted he had started a private investigation into Fountain’s lifestyle, including reporting to the Internal Revenue Service that Fountain had not reported his income for 1985-86.

Wentworth also said an officer with The Santa Fe police department said Brennan was much more involved in the investigation against Fountain than most people would have been, and Brennan was told not to be so involved..


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