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  2 Allege Sexual Abuse by Priests a Decade Ago One Man Denies Allegations; Kos Unavailable

By Todd J. Gillman
Dallas Morning News
September 4, 1993

Two former altar boys at All Saints Catholic Church in Far North Dallas filed lawsuits Friday, accusing two priests of sexually abusing them a decade ago.

In one of two civil suits filed Friday, a Dallas man accused the Rev. Rudolph Kos of molesting him repeatedly during the first half of 1983, beginning when he was 11.

Four similar suits pending against Father Kos are set for trial in May.

The second suit accuses a former Dallas priest, Robert Peebles Jr., of a single sexual assault in March 1984 while he was a chaplain at an Army base in Georgia. According to the suit, the accuser, then 15, visited Mr. Peebles at Fort Benning during spring break and was "sexually assaulted and exploited" after Mr. Peebles got him drunk.

Mr. Peebles, informed of the suit Friday night, denied wrongdoing and said the news came "completely out of the blue."

Father Kos is accused in the latest suit of abusing the plaintiff during counseling sessions for behavorial and emotional difficulties.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas has assigned Father Kos to a clergy treatment center in New Mexico.

He could not be reached for comment, and his attorney, Hal Browne of Dallas, did not return phone messages.

Randal Mathis, attorney for the diocese - also a defendant in each suit - said church officials acted appropriately with Father Kos. He said he was unaware of any allegations against Mr. Peebles and cannot comment until he investigates.

"This is, as you can imagine, a shocker," said Mr. Peebles, reached at his New Orleans home. "I'm a father of a 5-year-old son.

. . . I'm happily married."

Mr. Peebles became a military chaplain in 1984 after assignment to All Saints from 1981 to 1984. He declined to say why he left the priesthood or what sort of work he does now.

He denied sexually assaulting anyone or having been accused of doing so before the suit filed Friday.

But Dallas lawyer Sylvia Demarest, who filed the two latest suits, said a military police investigation led to Mr. Peebles' ejection from the chaplains' corps.

"It is not going to be my client's word against his," she said.

"It seems unlikely to me that that's a solitary incident."

The two suits filed Friday identify the plaintiffs only as John Does living in Dallas and Travis counties.

Both seek unspecified damage for mental anguish, pain and suffering, and name as defendants the National Council of Catholic Bishops and the U.S. Catholic Conference Association. The Peebles suit also names the diocese of Savannah, Ga., and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese for the Military.

Windle Turley, the attorney for the other four alleged victims of Father Kos, said he expects to file more sexual abuse cases against priests but offered no details.

"There is a pattern of concealment that has gone on for many, many, many years, maybe forever within the church, of just sweeping under the rug all these incidents of pedo-philia," he said.

Mr. Mathis disputed that.

"I don't have any way to judge what may or may not have occurred in any other part of the country, but the Dallas diocese has . . .

conducted itself properly," he said.

 
 

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