Prominent Jesuit Priest Charged with Molesting Boys

By Mike Robinson
Belleville News-Democrat
November 2, 2007

CHICAGO -- A prominent Jesuit priest was taken into custody by federal agents Friday on charges that he traveled to Switzerland and Austria seven years ago to have sex with a minor, prosecutors announced.

The Rev. Donald J. McGuire, 77, has been free on bond while appealing a Wisconsin conviction on charges of molesting two boys in the 1960s.

McGuire was taken into custody Thursday by Wisconsin authorities who said that he failed to keep his sex offender registry updated. He was turned over to Immigration and Customs agents on the new charge Friday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys ordered McGuire held in federal custody after Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie B. Ruder told him that McGuire was both a flight risk and danger to the community. Keys set a bond hearing for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Bond should have been immediate, said defense attorney Stephen Komie.

"A 77-year-old man isn't going anywhere, he's not running, he's not hiding," Komie told reporters after the brief hearing before Keys.

Komie also took aim at the potential witnesses against McGuire - alleged victims whose names were not used in the government's complaint.

"Are any of them known to be liars? Who are they?" he said. A chance to sue the church and collect money may have motivated those who claim McGuire molested them, Komie said.

McGuire specialized in organizing religious retreats, including retreats for Mother Teresa's religious communities in India, according to a federal affidavit which accompanied the complaint.

But a number of lawsuits are pending, charging that McGuire has abused boys sexually for years. And the affidavit said the Jesuit order as early as 1991 placed restrictions on his contacts with minor boys and young men.

But the 24-page affidavit said McGuire continued to travel alone with teen boys, including one who was just 13 years old when the alleged abuse began in 1999. McGuire then traveled with the boy to Switzerland and Austria in 2000.

His abuse of the boy ended in 2003 when the Jesuits ordered McGuire to move out of a religious house in Evanston in 2003, the affidavit said.

The affidavit also furnishes details of alleged McGuire relations with two other boys, one of whom was about 9 years old when it said that he began to have a relationship with the priest.


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