Former Priest Denied Early Exit from Prison
June 29, 2013
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A former Catholic priest serving a 50-year sentence for sexually abusing a boy was denied an early medical release by prison officials on Friday.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports ( ) that Thomas Teczar, 72, had applied for early release, seeking to serve only four years of his sentence.
Teczar had recently been admitted to a medical facility in Dickinson and was listed in fair condition, Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark said. His illness was not disclosed.
Teczar was with the Fort Worth diocese from 1988-93 and served in several parishes, including Ranger, where the then-11-year-old boy was abused.
Eastland County District Attorney Russ Thomason said his office was notified Wednesday that Teczar had applied for early release.
"Just because Thomas Teczar is old and sick doesn't mean he's safe," Thomason said. "This man has a 50-year history of injuring children."
Teczar in 2007 was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. His aggravated sexual assault and indecency convictions were overturned on appeal. Jurors in Eastland County in 2009 convicted Teczar of aggravated sexual assault and indecency and sentenced him to 50 years in prison.
Teczar was ordained in 1967 and served in the Worcester, Mass., diocese. Officials have said he was kicked out in 1986 for misconduct with boys.
"A jury of 12 sat through the evidence at his trial and said this is a person who should never get out," said Tahira Khan Merritt, a Dallas attorney who represented six of Teczar's victims in Texas and was a special prosecutor in Teczar's criminal trial in Eastland County. "To me, to release him would take away what the justice system is all about."