Sex-Rap Priest: I'm Innocent

By Jessie Graham
New York Post
July 20, 2002

A Kenyan missionary priest accused of molesting a 12-year-old boy during a Father's Day outing in Queens vowed to fight the charges yesterday - after he refused a plea deal that would have landed him three months in jail.

The Rev. Peter Kiarie, 41, wants to prove his innocence at trial, said Salvatore Canonico, the defense lawyer hired by the priest's religious order to represent the accused cleric.

If he's convicted of sex abuse, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child, Kiarie could spend a year behind bars.

"He didn't do it," Canonico said. "When you're innocent, any jail time is too much."

The Ireland-based Holy Ghost Fathers order - which sponsors missions around the globe - put up $50,000 cash to bail Kiarie out of jail this month.

Prosecutors allege that on June 16, Kiarie took the boy, whom he met through the church, on a trip to Rockaway Beach, subjecting him to four hours of terrorizing sex attacks.


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