Man Facing Sex Charges Banned from Priesthood

Associated Press State & Local Wire
December 1, 2005

A priest who authorities believe fled to the Philippines to avoid sex crime charges has been banished from the priesthood, Fargo Roman Catholic Diocese officials say.

The Rev. Fernando Sayasaya is accused of having sexual contact with two boys beginning in 1995. He was charged in Cass County in December 2002 with gross sexual imposition, about four years after he returned to his native country.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Fargo diocese said the Vatican recently dismissed Sayasaya from his clerical state.

The Fargo diocese had relieved Sayasaya of his duties as a priest in August 1998, when the allegations involving juveniles first surfaced. Authorities have been working in the last year to return him to Fargo.


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