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  Military Transfers Exonerated Priest to Brevard Base
Raux Pained by Abuse Allegations

By J.D. Gallop
Florida Today
January 15, 2003

Patrick Air Force Base — Speaking of the pain that allegations of sexual abuse have caused him during the last nine years, the Rev. Redmond Raux welcomed a decision by the Air Force Space Command on Tuesday to go through with his transfer to Brevard County.

It was a decision that came nearly a month after the allegations against Raux resurfaced as part of the ongoing sex abuse scandal in Boston, where he was once a priest. He will arrive as chaplain at Patrick Air Force Base in early February.

"I'm aware of the concerns and I assure you that the allegations are untrue," the 47-year-old said during a telephone interview from F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, where he is currently stationed. "I'd like to believe I'd be accepted for who I am. I was exonerated twice on this."

Brig. Gen. Greg Pavlovich wrote an e-mail to base commanders, informing them of the development.

"Chaplain Raux will arrive in early February to assume his duties, and everyone in the command leadership hopes you will welcome him, as I will, with a solid handshake, open arms and a friendly 'welcome aboard!' " wrote Pavlovich to the commanders.

The commanders were also reassured the allegations were untrue.

"We've looked at the case, and there's no evidence that any of the allegations leveled against him were true," Patrick Air Force Base spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Rein said.

"We're very confident in his abilities to be the Space Wing chaplain. If we weren't, he wouldn't be coming here," Rein said.

Raux, a member of the military diocese for the past 18 years, was accused in 1993 of molesting a 12-year-old altar boy in 1987, according to court records made public for the first time last month.

The last few weeks, like much of the past decade, have been a struggle, the priest said.

"I'm not going to run away from this issue. It has been a part of my life for the last nine years, and I think it has made me a more compassionate person," Raux said.

He was never charged with a crime in the case, which at the time, drew the personal attention of Cardinal Bernard Law.

Law, the 71-year-old head of the Boston diocese where at there are at least 400 alleged victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests, resigned late last year under pressure.

Military officials placed Raux's transfer under review after the release of thousands of court documents detailing incidents involving priests and hundreds of alleged victims in the Boston area.

The review included discussions with Raux, consultations with other chaplains and ranking military officials.

Officials also pointed out that Raux had an unblemished Air Force career, serving in a recent deployment at the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. He also holds a secret clearance and has undergone numerous background checks, air force officials said.

"We understand all of the sensitivity involved with this," Rein said, adding that officials have heard only concern about Raux's assignment than opposition.

The accusations against Raux were made as part claims against another priest, records show. The teenager, who was 18-years-old when he came forward with his claims, later signed a $200,000 settlement with the teen and his family in 1995. "The allegations certainly have affected my life. But none of us walks alone," Raux said.

"It's only with that support from a lot of people that has brought me this far."

 
 

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