Priest Pleads Guilty to Molesting Boys

United Press International
May 8, 1987

A Byzantine Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to molesting six boys in his parish.

The Rev. Robert Ruglovsky, 50, pleaded guilty to six counts of criminal sexual conduct Thursday in Hennepin County District Court. The priest has been ousted as pastor of St. John's Byzantine Church in northeast Minneapolis.

As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors recommend Ruglovsky receive a 15-year prison sentence but serve only year in a county workhouse. He would remain on probation for the remaining 14 years.

The priest also would be required to complete a treatment program for sex offenders and would be prohibited from having unsupervised contact with children during his probation.

Sentencing has been set for June 16.

Ruglovsky, known to parishioners as " Father Bob," was accused of molesting boys ages 12 to 14 from November 1986 to February 1987.

He testified he was pleading guilty to spare the victims from having to testify in court.

Ruglovsky said that at one time he had been "a patient in a hospital for a mental or emotional disorder" but didn't elaborate.

His attorney told the court that the Byzantine church has offered to pay expenses incurred by the victims or their families in connection with the proceedings.

The church is operated by a diocese in Parma, Ohio, and is not part of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The Byzantine rite Catholicism is of eastern European origin and is one of 14 within the Roman Catholic Church.


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