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  Monk, 71, Indicted on Sex Charges

By Don Babwin and Art Barnum
Chicago Tribune
August 18, 1993

A Roman Catholic cleric was indicted Tuesday by a Kane County grand jury on charges of sexually assaulting a youth in 1990.

Rev. Augustine Jones, 71, a monk at Marmion Abbey in Aurora, was indicted on four charges of sexual assault stemming from an alleged incident at St. Therese's Catholic Church, 271 N. Farnsworth Ave., Aurora.

Aurora police said they had been investigating for several months after the alleged victim, now 18, came to them and said he was assaulted by Jones when the youth was 15.

Officials at the Joliet Diocese could not be reached for comment. An unidentified nun at St. Therese's said that pastor Rev. Michael Rasicci was on vacation and that she was unaware of any incident.

Police Detective Michael Fuller said Jones was not in custody but was expected to turn himself in this week.

Marmion Abbey is an independent Benedictine order. Members of the order also teach at the adjacent Marmion Military Academy, one of only six military/religious schools in the country.

Abbey spokesman Charles Reichenbacher said the order "has heard of the alleged claim, but we have nothing to comment on. Our attorney is studying the charges."

Reichenbacher said that Jones was not living at the abbey and that Jones had not taught at the high school for 25 years. Reichenbacher declined to say where Jones was staying.

Three priests from the Joliet Diocese have been removed in the last six years after allegations of sexual abuse.

In 1987, Rev. Edward Stefanich, the former pastor of St. Scholastica Parish in Woodridge, resigned from the preisthood after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl.

Rev. Henry Slade, former pastor of St. Isidore's Church in Bloomingdale, pleaded guilty in 1990 to sexually abusing an 18-year-old man with cerebral palsy.

Rev. Myles White pleaded guilty last year to abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1989 and is in state prison.

In May, Rev. J. Michael Foley, former principal of St. Francis High School in Wheaton, was acquitted on charges that he abused a female student.

CORRECTION-DATE: August 19, 1993

CORRECTION:

A story in the Wednesday Du Page section gave the impression that Catholic churches in Aurora are part of the Joliet Diocese. Aurora churches in Kane County are part of the Rockford Diocese. The Tribune regrets the error.

 
 

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