Evil Ex Priest
May 18, 2012
A former Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a boy at gunpoint and then hiring a hitman to kill him has been given life imprisonment.
John Fiala met with the alleged hit man in November 2010 and offered to pay him $5,000 to murder the youth, instructing him to 'chop his head off'.
The allegations of abuse were made by a 16-year-old boy in April 2010.
|John Fiala met with the alleged hit man in November 2010 and offered to pay him $5,000 to murder the youth, instructing him to 'chop his head off'|
The teen alleges that the abuse took place during private catechism classes at the Sacred Heart church, Rocksprings, where Fiala was an administrator, and in a hotel room in 2007 and 2008.
Scottie Fisher, Fiala's neighbour, told the jury that his brother had been approached by Fiala to do the killing.
Mr Fisher had first alerted Sheriff Don Letsinger of Edwards County to the accused claiming that the ex-priest was talking about killing a young man.
The sheriff called Fiala 'an evil man'.
Fiala argued in court that he hired the hitman because he was distraught over the accusations of sexual assault and believed his own life was in danger.
‘I knew that if I didn't do this, I'd be the one on the list, marked to be killed, according to what Scottie said,' said Fiala, reports Dallas News.
However, the prosecutors didn't believe his argument of self-defense.
|The allegations were made by a 16-year-old boy in April 2010 where Fiala was an administrator at the Sacred Heart church, Rocksprings.|
Prosecutor Hector Garza asked Fiala what Fisher would have gained by having the boy killed.
‘Nothing,' Fiala replied.
Another prosecutor, Brandon Birmingham, warned the jury that Fiala was ‘not a puppet' but that ‘he is the puppeteer'.
Fiala's defense attorney, Rex Gunter, said Fiala had no true intentions of having his abuse accuser killed, despite an undercover agent recording Fiala making the claims.
'Just saying the words doesn’t show intent,' said Mr Gunter.
However, Fiala had previously threatened the boy with physical violence and threatened to kill him, and he was 'very afraid of that,' the said teen's attorney Tom Rhodes.
Mr Rhodes claims that on different occasions Fiala not only threatened to harm the teen but also to hurt his girlfriend and his family if he ever told anyone what happened.
These threats were repeated in daily text messages with Fiala even threatening to kill himself, telling the boy they would 'go to heaven together'.
|The teen alleges that the abuse took place during private catechism classes and in a hotel room in 2007 and 2008|
'My client wasn't happy that Fiala was trying to recruit someone to kill him, but he's happy Fiala is in jail now,' said Mr Rhodes.
The lawsuit also claims archdioceses covered up Fiala's record of abuse.
The Omaha, Nebraska archdiocese revealed that in 2002 a minor came forward to report a sexual assault by Fiala in the mid-1980s, according to the Express-News.
When former San Antonio Archbishop Jose Gomez learned of the police investigation into Fiala's actions, he was removed from active ministry in October 2008.
The youth met Fiala in 2007 when Mr Rhodes said the priest started 'grooming him' by buying him gifts, including a computer and a car.
In early 2008 when the boy was 16, Fiala 'gained access to him and began to sexually abuse him once or twice a month, including on the churches ground' when he was supposed to have been teaching the boy.
After struggling with abuse over nearly two years, the teen told a school counsellor who called the authorities.
Fiala was caught when an undercover agent was sent to speak to Fiala who recorded their conversation on audio and videotape.
'I think he's cooked his goose now', Sheriff Letsinger said of Fiala at the time. 'We know that paedophiles sometimes threaten their victims to keep them quiet'.