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  1 Charge Is Dropped in Priest's Sex Case
Disputed 'Contact' Allegation Vacated

By Jeff Coen
Chicago Tribune
June 6, 2000

A judge in Racine County, Wis., has dropped one of the criminal charges leveled against John Furdek, a 47-year-old priest who was serving in Villa Park. Furdek was accused in February with using the Internet to try to solicit sex from someone he allegedly thought was a 14-year-old boy.

Dismissed in a hearing last week was a criminal count accusing Furdek of child enticement. The charge was dropped after a defense motion was filed asking for the dismissal of three charges relating to the alleged on-line contact with the "child."

The alleged victim in the case was actually an agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, and Furdek's attorneys argue that should preclude the priest from facing those charges. The judge let stand charges of attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child, attempted child enticement for sexual contact and drug charges.

Furdek was taken into custody in Racine on Feb. 17. Prosecutors have alleged that Furdek communicated with the agent in the weeks prior to the arrest and traveled to Wisconsin with the intent of meeting a teen minor named "Alex" for sex.

The priest, who at the time was pastor of St. Alexander Catholic Church in Villa Park, was taken into custody in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant where the rendezvous allegedly was to have taken place.

Police said steroids and a small amount of marijuana was found in Furdek's possession.

Furdek has posted bond and been released from custody on the conditions that he not have contact with anyone younger than 18 or use a computer.

 
 

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