Ex-Fitchburg Priest Will Come to Face Child Porn, Theft Charges
By Scott J. Croteau
Telegram & Gazette
December 20, 2012
|From left, Rev. Lowe Dongor and Rev. Nicholas Desimone are ordained into the Catholic priesthood during a ceremony held at the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Worcester in 1210.|
The Roman Catholic priest wanted in Worcester on charges of child pornography possession and stealing from his Fitchburg parish was taken into custody in Los Angeles recently and will be brought to Worcester, authorities said.
Lowe B. Dongor, 36, was brought to Los Angeles from the Philippines, his home country.
Timothy J. Connolly, spokesman for the Worcester District Attorney's office, said Rev. Dongor agreed not to fight rendition, but no time for his arrival here in Worcester has been set.
“Our office is in the process of making arrangements to bring him to Worcester Superior Court,” Mr. Connolly said.
Mr. Connolly said Los Angeles police picked Rev. Dongor up when he arrived in the United States. He did not know what day the arrest occurred.
According to the Inquirer Visayas newspaper, Rev. Dongor was flown to the United States Monday evening.
”I am so sorry. I want to apologize to all the people … for all the damage I have done to you, to the church, and to myself,” Rev. Dongor told the Inquirer.
A Worcester County grand jury handed up indictments earlier this year charging Rev. Dongor with possession of child pornography and larceny of more than $250. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Rev. Dongor, who authorities believed had fled the country and possibly returned to the Philippines.
State police allege that one of Rev. Dongor's laptop computers contained images of girls 10 or 11 years old in various states of undress. The 36-year-old priest also allegedly admitted to investigators that he stole "$40 or $50" from St. Joseph Parish in Fitchburg on a number of occasions to send home to his family in the Philippines.
The diocese placed him on administrative leave of absence and he was relieved of his duties as associate pastor of St. Joseph's by Bishop Robert J. McManus. The diocese then asked the Vatican to defrock Rev. Dongor.
A federal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts earlier this year accused Rev. Dongor of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
FBI Special Agent Rachael Boisselle wrote in a complaint that Rev. Dongor left the United States from JFK International Airport in New York on Oct. 1, 2011, on a Korean Airlines flight. Law enforcement believed he was fleeing to the Philippines, the agent wrote.
Rev. Dongor was in the United States on a religious work visa, Agent Boisselle wrote.
The priest was arraigned in Fitchburg District Court in September 2011 on the child pornography possession charge.