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  Ex-Pastor Sentenced to 15 Years John Furdek Solicited Teenboy for Sex

By Kathryn Grondin
Chicago Daily Herald
May 21, 2003

Just three years ago, John Furdek was preaching before a Villa Park congregation.

Today, the former pastor of St. Alexander Catholic Church is in prison for using the Internet to arrange a drug deal and sexual encounter with a 14-year-old boy in Wisconsin.

Furdek, 50, was sentenced in Racine County Circuit Court Monday to 15 years in prison for attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child. Furdek likely will serve three years in prison followed by 12 years of extended supervision, said Linda Beesley, a court clerk.

He also was sentenced to 10 years probation, to be served concurrently with the supervision, for felony possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, Beesley said.

"The guy really went over the line," said Randy Schneider, assistant district attorney in Racine. "How can you say Mass on one hand and then go out and solicit a 14-year-old?"

Furdek was arrested in February 2000 when he arrived at a Racine eatery expecting to meet with a 14-year-old boy named Alex.

He thought he was e-mailing "Alex" but he actually was corresponding with agents from the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The e-mails discussed exercise and sports, but the conversations also were sexual in nature, police said.

Furdek arranged the meeting and told the fictitious boy he could sell him steroids to enhance his workouts.

Furdek pleaded guilty to the charges in March.

Word of the sentencing spread quickly through St. Alexander, where the current pastor declined to comment.

Villa Park Village President Rae Rupp Srch, a longtime parishioner, said: "It's really a shame he broke the trust of his parishioners. It was very disappointing."

Furdek had been described by Villa Park parishioners as a likable, engaging priest.

Ordained in 1984, he previously served at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Naperville, St. Philip the Apostle in Addison and St. Mary of Gostyn in Downers Grove.

St. Alexander members are focusing on the future, appreciative the Joliet Diocese moved quickly to remove Furdek and to reassure the congregation when the arrest first occurred, Rupp Srch said.

 
 

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