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Dallas Resources – March 1998

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3 Kos Plaintiffs Accept $7.5 Million Settlement
8 Others Still Negotiating

By Ed Housewright and Brooks Egerton
Dallas Morning News
March 6, 1998

[Name of Kos survivor redacted at the survivor's request.]

The Dallas Catholic Diocese has reached a $ 7.5 million settlement with three young men who say they were sexually abused as boys by suspended priest Rudolph "Rudy" Kos.

Robert Hultz, [Redacted] and Lee Hart were among 11 plaintiffs who were awarded a record $ 119.6 million last summer by a Dallas jury. The eight others have not reached a settlement with the diocese, although negotiations continue, attorneys said.

Under the settlement reached Wednesday, the diocese will pay $ 3.1 million of the amount, with two insurance companies - Lloyd's of London and Interstate Fire & Casualty Co. - paying the remaining $ 4.4 million.

"I'm very glad to be able to put this behind me now," said Mr. Hultz, 26, who was awarded $ 13.2 million by the jury and would not reveal his part of the settlement. "The stress level associated with this was very high.

"I could only take so much. This was never about money."

Sylvia Demarest, the attorney for Mr. Hultz and the two other plaintiffs who settled, said Thursday she thought the agreement was fair, although she would have liked more for her clients.

She said she was worried that the verdict might be overturned or substantially reduced during the appeal process, which could have taken years. Her clients, who filed their suits as much as five years ago, did not expect to receive any money from Mr. Kos, she said.

"They wanted some financial certainty in their lives," Ms. Demarest said. "We wanted to eliminate the risk they would get nothing. They wanted to resolve this now, not five years from now."

Bishop Charles V. Grahmann, who returned from Rome last week to participate in settlement negotiations, said he was glad to "end this long period of sadness."

"We have asked all Catholics to pray for victims and to seek ways to prevent abuse occurring anywhere in our community," the bishop said in a written statement.

The diocese will pay its $ 3.1 million share from the sale of undetermined land that has not been developed, his statement said.

Its legal fees since the first Kos lawsuit was filed amount to about $ 3 million, said diocese spokeswoman Lisa LeMaster.

Last month, the diocese announced that it would sell property to pay its $ 1.1 million share of a $ 5 million settlement of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by two priests, William Hughes and Robert Peebles Jr., who served at the same time as Mr. Kos.

George Bramblett, a lawyer representing the diocese, said the Kos negotiations with Ms. Demarest and the insurers were "long and intense but not antagonistic." Ms. Demarest called the negotiations "difficult and contentious."

"It's been a litigation battle of epic proportions," she said.

Mr. Bramblett said he hoped the diocese could reach an agreement with the eight other Kos plaintiffs, represented by lawyer Windle Turley.

"It's not over yet," Mr. Bramblett said. "We're working real hard to resolve the issues, just like the bishop has wanted us to."

If a settlement is not reached, the diocese could still appeal the jury's verdict related to Mr. Turley's clients, he said. The jury found that the diocese committed gross negligence and concealed information about Mr. Kos, who was accused of sexually abusing boys from 1981 to 1992 at three churches.

An attorney for Lloyd's of London faulted Mr. Turley for not settling his cases.

"I think he needs to exercise some reason," Jim Cowles said. "I think Windle is a very smart lawyer, and he and his clients will come to the concept of reason and this thing will be settled.

"That's the best thing for everybody. I think she Ms. Demarest is showing good reason and doing well by her clients."

Mr. Turley denied he was being unreasonable.

"My clients are not going to permit the diocese to walk away from this matter with a slap on the wrist, and we're not going to settle our cases for a few cents on the dollar," he said. "My folks have been through a lot. The diocese has not yet offered the money necessary to take care of them in the way the jury said they needed to be taken care of."

An attorney for Interstate Fire & Casualty would not comment about the ongoing negotiations but said he was pleased that a partial settlement was reached.

"Hopefully, all the parties feel the same, either equally happy or equally unhappy but content," Brad Dickinson said of the settlement.

Fred Moss, a Southern Methodist University law professor who testified for the plaintiffs, said he wasn't surprised by Ms. Demarest's willingness to settle independently of Mr. Turley.

"You run into these fractured decisions all the time" when dealing with a large group of plaintiffs, he said.

Nor did Mr. Moss express surprise that the settlement was so much less than the judgment.

"There was a question of whether the diocese could pony up that much money and might go into bankruptcy," he said. That could delay any payments indefinitely, he said, and might make them ultimately worth pennies on the dollar.

The Rev. Tom Economus, who runs a national organization called Linkup that documents clergy sexual abuse, said the settlement is relatively high.

"There have only been a couple cases other than this that have gone over $ 1 million" per plaintiff, he said. Payments of $ 50,000 to $ 250,000 are more typical, he said.

Mr. Hart, one of the plaintiffs who settled, said he wasn't upset that the agreement was far less than the jury award.

"As long as everyone knows there was a huge verdict, and the jury was really upset about what happened - that's what everyone remembers," said Mr. Hart, 29.

The third plaintiff who was part of the settlement, 26-year-old Mr. [Redacted], said he didn't want the diocese's share to be so high that it would "jeopardize the day-to-day operation of the church and schools."

"We feel we got our point across," said Mr. [Redacted], who, like the other two plaintiffs, would not say how much he received. "The church does a lot of good things. I think they needed to hear our message loud and clear, and I think they did."

Ms. Demarest said she was worried about a backlash against her clients if the diocese lost some of its properties to satisfy the judgment.

"Nothing like this has ever happened before," she said. "My clients could have become subject to threats. They might have had to leave."

As part of the settlement, the diocese granted a request by Mr. Hultz to have a private meeting with Bishop Grahmann.

"There's just a few personal issues I need to discuss with him," said Mr. Hultz, who has received intensive therapy since the verdict. "There are some things I want to get off my chest, and I think once I have, I'll be able to put this behind me.

"I'm not going to yell at him, but there are some questions I still have. I want answers I feel I never got."

Judge to Allow Kos' Statement in Criminal Trial
Tape Alludes to Sexual Encounter

By Michael Saul
Dallas Morning News
March 10, 1998

Suspended Catholic priest Rudolph "Rudy" Kos' tape-recorded statement that he engaged in sexual acts with a boy is admissible in front of the jury, the judge presiding over his criminal trial decided Monday.

"This whole incident happened accidentally," said Mr. Kos, according to a transcript of the taped statement. "I am not a child molester. You know by definition. " The court did not release the transcript, but it was obtained by The Dallas Morning News. State District Judge Janice Warder and attorneys on the case said Friday that the transcript they viewed may contain some inaccuracies.

The recording was made Nov. 30, 1992, when Mr. Kos met with Steve Stegall, an insurance claims representative who was investigating an allegation that Mr. Kos had abused a child.

Judge Warder also decided Monday that testimony from two priests who say Mr. Kos confessed to them will also be admissible.

The judge's decision follows a hearing Friday in which Mr. Kos' attorneys argued that the recording and any alleged statements that their client may have made to fellow priests should be considered privileged.

"All disputed questions of fact are decided in favor of admissibility. All objections are overruled," Judge Warder wrote in her decision issued Monday.

Mr. Kos, 52, is scheduled for trial later this month on eight sex-abuse charges involving four young men who told police they were molested as children more than 1,350 times. He pleaded not guilty to each of the charges during two arraignments last year.

Brad Lollar, Mr. Kos' attorney, declined to comment Monday on the judge's rulings. He said Friday that the recording and alleged confessions should be suppressed because they fell under the "priest-penitent privilege. " On the tape, the insurance agent said the boy said he was fondled 20 to 30 times. Mr. Kos admits on the tape to fondling the boy six or seven times and having oral sex with him two or three times. He said he didn't understand that the boy felt guilty and ashamed because:

"It was my understanding that he was enjoying himself, having fun, and he just kept coming back. I never enticed him to come back and I never asked him to come over, I mean, he would just come. " Mr. Kos said the boy would signal him to begin a sexual encounter.

"His cue for me was he always wanted me to scratch his back. He would say, `Would you scratch my back? ' and that usually meant that he wanted me to get my hands on him. And I felt like I was kind of trapped because of the first incident. If I would have said no, then everything would have blown up. " At one point, the insurance agent asks if the child initiated the first incident. Mr. Kos replied: "I can't, you know, I don't recall. It's kind of a, I mean the kid was only about 13 or 14. It didn't make no difference who initiated it in my opinion. It was my fault to get that close. I shouldn't have gotten that close. " Mr. Kos gave contradictory responses when asked whether he ever gave the boy alcohol. At one point, he said: "I can't remember giving him a wine cooler. " Later, he said, "Well, sure maybe I did buy him or let him drink some of mine, my wine coolers, but my intentions was to never get the kid drunk . . . and try to seduce him. " Assistant District Attorney Howard Blackmon, the lead prosecutor on the case, said he is pleased with the judge's decision. He said the confessions are admissible because Mr. Kos was not speaking to the insurance agent or the priests in a religious context.

"We knew the privileges didn't apply, and after presenting the issue to the judge, she is likewise convinced that they don't apply," Mr. Blackmon said. "They [the confessions] weren't for spiritual advice. They weren't for legal advice. " Prosecutors said they believe the tape will be a very powerful piece of evidence because the jurors will hear Mr. Kos confess and tell in his own words what happened.

In an interview on Friday, Mr. Lollar conceded that Mr. Kos is "behind the eight ball in the case. " But, he said, the tape recording isn't all bad.

"In any piece of evidence there is good and bad. And I think there were certainly good things for us looking at the tape in a particular view: That's the same complainant who testified at the civil trial it happened 450 times," Mr. Lollar said Friday.

Mr. Lollar said Mr. Kos' accusers have said a "number of different things" when talking about the alleged abuse. Differences in their versions of what happened, he said, raise serious questions as to the truthfulness of their allegations. " He said that the plaintiffs in the civil case were "babied beyond belief. " That, he said, will not happen in the criminal trial.

"I'm not going to baby them. They are going to have to answer questions which they were never asked in that civil trial," he said.

Mr. Lollar confirmed Monday that there have been no discussions of a plea and that he fully anticipates the case going to trial.

Roughly 2,800 Dallas County residents have been summoned to the courthouse for the beginning of jury selection Friday.

Mr. Kos is charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, one count of sexual assault with a child and four counts of indecency with a child. The aggravated sexual assault charges, first-degree felonies, carry up to a life sentence and a $10,000 fine on each count.

In four of the cases, Mr. Kos is accused of using the boys' feet to gratify himself sexually. In the other four cases, Mr. Kos is accused of performing oral sex on the boys.

Lawyer Says Kos Can Get a Fair Trial
Jury Selection Process Starts in Sex-Abuse Case

By Michael Saul
Dallas Morning News
March 14, 1998

An attorney for Rudolph "Rudy" Kos - speaking after the first day of jury selection in the suspended Catholic priest's sex-abuse trial - said Friday his client can get a fair trial in Dallas County.

More than 600 Dallas County residents gathered Friday morning in the central jury room of the Frank Crowley Courts Building to begin the process of finding 12 jurors. They will decide whether Mr. Kos should be convicted or acquitted on eight counts of molesting four boys. Mr. Kos, 52, is pleading not guilty.

After weeding out hundreds of prospective jurors with a one-page questionnaire and exemptions, 348 people returned Friday afternoon. They were asked to respond to a 14-page questionnaire filled with personal questions on such topics as religion, politics, homosexuality and molestation.

"It is very important that you be frank and that you be open," Judge Warder told the prospective jurors. "Only if you're honest and open can we hope to have 12 impartial jurors seated in our jury box. " The attorneys plan to review the questionnaires and request about a quarter of those remaining in the jury pool to return for further questioning March 23. Testimony is expected to begin that week.

"We do have 348 out of that original 613 that tell us that they have not formed opinions about the case which would influence their verdicts," said Mr. Kos' attorney, Brad Lollar. "We can find a jury in Dallas County to try this case, and both sides can get a fair trial. " In fact, between 30 and 50 people who responded to the summons said they never heard of Mr. Kos or the allegations against him, Mr. Lollar said.

Mr. Kos is charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, one count of sexual assault with a child and four counts of indecency with a child. The aggravated sexual assault charges, first-degree felonies, carry up to a life sentence and a $10,000 fine on each count.

Assistant District Attorney Kate Porter, chief of the family violence and child abuse division, said Mr. Kos deserves the maximum punishment possible.

"Rudy Kos engaged in a continuing course of conduct with these young boys that was very intentional, very purposeful - he was essentially the pied piper of the Catholic Church," she said.

"These boys have been very traumatized. " Many prospective jurors dealt with a 15-20 minute wait while trying to enter the courthouse in the morning. About 60 people were turned away because they arrived at the jury room after 8:45 a.m., when the judge wanted to start.

"This is really ridiculous to treat potential jurors like this," said Deborah Johnson, 41, a Dallas resident who was sent away.

"They treat us like cattle, like we're disposable. " Despite some confusion and some long waits, the attorneys said they were pleased with the results.

"Mr. Kos is ready for the trial to begin," Mr. Lollar said. "We are ready to get the show on the road. "



Kos Trial to Start This Week
Testimony Could Begin Tuesday in Criminal Case

By Michael Saul
Dallas Morning News
March 22, 1998

Last summer, when civil trial jurors in Dallas awarded the largest monetary judgment in a clergy sex-abuse case in U.S. history, the man at the center of the case walked the streets free.

In this week's criminal trial, suspended Catholic priest Rudolph "Rudy" Kos' freedom hangs in the balance. Twelve Dallas County jurors will be asked to convict or acquit Mr. Kos, 52, of eight sex-abuse charges involving four young men who told police they were molested about 1,350 times.

If convicted of the most serious charges, Mr. Kos could be sentenced to life in prison and would not be eligible for parole for 30 years. Mr. Kos, a former nurse and Air Force medic, has pleaded not guilty. Testimony could begin as early as Tuesday.

"The issue in this case is squarely the culpability of Rudy Kos," said state District Judge Janice L. Warder, who is presiding over Mr. Kos' criminal trial. "In the civil case, the issue became the culpability of the diocese. " The Catholic Diocese of Dallas also was a defendant in the civil trial.

Unlike the civil trial, in which the truth of the allegations never became an issue, prosecutors will be required in the criminal trial to prove that Mr. Kos molested the boys.

The plaintiffs' attorneys in the civil trial had to prove their case with a preponderance of the evidence; in the criminal trial, the prosecutors must prove each facet of the eight indictments beyond a reasonable doubt.

First Assistant District Attorney Norman Kinne described Mr. Kos as one of the worst molesters in the county's history and said he is confident that the state will persuade the jury of Mr. Kos' guilt. According to testimony in the 11-week civil trial, Mr. Kos sexually abused boys at churches in Dallas, Ennis and Irving from 1981 to 1992.

"We have a strong case," Mr. Kinne said, adding that he believes Mr. Kos deserves the maximum punishment. "Anytime you have a person in a high position of trust who deals with children and who violates that trust, you have an egregious offense. " Brad Lollar, one of Mr. Kos' court-appointed criminal defense attorneys, readily concedes his client faces an uphill battle.

"Anytime you've got 12 to 15 people going to say something happened, then regardless of whether or not it did happen, I think the natural inclination of somebody being told that is to think it did happen," he said.

"In this case, the whole criminal trial has been impacted by the civil trial having preceded it, and that's kind of unusual in this county. " In July, the civil jury found in favor of 11 plaintiffs and returned a $119.6 million judgment against Mr. Kos and the diocese.

Jurors found that the diocese covered up the abuse, and they urged church leaders to "admit your guilt. " Mr. Lollar said he believes the civil trial could have had a different outcome had Mr. Kos been represented. At the beginning of that trial, state District Judge Anne Ashby found Mr. Kos liable because he never responded to the lawsuit.

"I am not so sure he would have been found liable if certain facts had been brought to that jury's attention," Mr. Lollar said.

Mr. Lollar declined to comment on the evidence against Mr. Kos or reveal whether his client plans to testify in the criminal trial. "Certainly, Rudy would like to tell his side of the story," his attorney said.

A potentially damaging piece of evidence is an audio tape on which Mr. Kos admits to fondling one complainant six or seven times and having oral sex with him two or three times. On the tape, Mr. Kos denies being a child molester and says the boy was "enjoying himself, having fun. " Prosecutors said they believe the tape will be persuasive. "It will be damaging," Mr. Kinne said. "It's a confession. " Just as prosecutors plan to use the defendant's words against him, Mr. Kos' attorneys plan to use the complainants' previous testimony against them. Three of the four complainants in the criminal case were plaintiffs in the civil trial.

Discrepancies in the complainants' versions of events, Mr. Lollar said, raise serious questions about their credibility. The discrepancies involve the frequency of the alleged abuse, the location and dates of the alleged abuse and the exact nature of the alleged abuse, Mr. Lollar said.

"If you are telling the truth about something, if you are asked about it from Day 1 to Day 2 to Day 3, you ought to be able to say the same thing. And these people have not, and we are going to point that out to the jury," he said.

Attorney Sylvia Demarest, who represented three of the plaintiffs in the civil trial, said she is confident Mr. Kos' accusers will stand up under cross-examination.

"They are very credible. I believe it all occurred," she said.

"But it's not necessarily going to be Father Kos' word against the complainants. There is this other evidence from his own mouth. " In addition to the audio tape, two priests who say Mr. Kos admitted the molestation to them are scheduled to testify.

During treatment at a facility in New Mexico, according to a doctor's report, Mr. Kos also admitted he had a sexual relationship with about 20 minors. The doctor who drafted that report and several other officials connected to the New Mexico facility have been subpoenaed.

Mr. Kos is charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, one count of sexual assault of a child and four counts of indecency with a child. The aggravated sexual assault charges, first-degree felonies, carry up to a life sentence and $10,000 fine on each count.

In four of the cases, Mr. Kos is accused of using the boys' feet to gratify himself sexually. In the other four cases, Mr. Kos is accused of performing oral sex on the boys.

"This man needs to be put away - he is sick," said Pat Lemberger, whose 21-year-old-son, Jay Lemberger, killed himself in 1992, after years of alleged sexual abuse by Mr. Kos. Should he be convicted, Mr. Lemberger said, Mr. Kos may testify during the punishment phase.

"Maybe after all these years, we are finally getting this predator off the streets," he said. "It's gone on way, way too long. " In the civil trial, plaintiffs testified that the abuse left them with plunging grades, crippling doubts about the Catholic faith and an inability to trust people. Many said that they also have problems with intimacy and commitment. Those problems have manifested themselves in drug and alcohol abuse, some said.

Mr. Lollar said that he believes the history of the allegations will become a factor in the criminal trial.

"None of them went to the police first. None of them went to Child Protective Services first. The history of all of them is that they went to civil trial lawyers first," Mr. Kos' attorney said.

"If their aim was to seek justice, it would seem to me that they would have involved the civil and criminal authorities. And that by going through the civil court system instead of that, it seems to me their aim was getting money." Mr. Kinne said that he doesn't believe Mr. Kos' accusers' pursuit of monetary damages alters the defendant's culpability.

"Criminal conduct in practically every case gives rise to criminal and civil liability," he said.

But in most cases, Mr. Kinne said, crime victims generally do not seek recourse in civil courts because the perpetrator typically doesn't have any money. In this case, the plaintiffs had the diocese.

"The civil trial is about damages, money," he said. "The criminal trial is about punishment, rehabilitation and deterrence. " The diocese suspended Mr. Kos as a priest in 1993, 14 months after the first youth complained of being sexually abused by him.

Mr. Kos spent nearly five years in California before police arrested him in October on the eight sex-abuse charges he now faces. At the time of his arrest, he was free on bond in connection with two sex-abuse charges that have since been dropped because they fell beyond a 10-year statute of limitations.

Despite substantial media coverage surrounding the civil trial, Mr. Kos' attorneys opted not to seek a change of venue. After the first day of jury selection March 13, Mr. Lollar said he believed his client could get a fair trial in Dallas County.

Roughly 350 prospective jurors responded to a 14-page questionnaire that asked a variety of questions on such topics as religion, politics and homosexuality. About 90 of those people have been asked to return for more questioning Monday.

The 12 eventually seated in the jury box will hear Mr. Kos say on the audio tape: "This whole incident happened accidentally. . . . I am not a child molester, you know, by definition. "


Kos Pleads Guilty to 3 of 8 Sex Charges
Confessions before Jury Come as Testimony Opens

By Michael Saul
Dallas Morning News
March 25, 1998

Suspended Catholic priest Rudolph "Rudy" Kos admitted molesting two boys Tuesday, entering surprise guilty pleas to three of eight sex-abuse charges as testimony began in his criminal trial.

Despite previous not guilty pleas to all eight charges during two separate arraignments last year, Mr. Kos pleaded guilty in front of the jury to one count of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child.

Each of the charges to which Mr. Kos pleaded guilty are second-degree felonies, and each is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The remaining five charges include three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, which are first-degree felonies that could send Mr. Kos to prison for life.

"We knew that this day would come, when we would stand before a jury and be asked to answer the charges, and Mr. Kos has answered the charges," said Brad Lollar, one of Mr. Kos' court-appointed attorneys. "This is the way we wanted it to happen based on what he has told us to be the truth."

Asked how the guilty pleas would affect his client's pursuit of acquittals on the other five counts , Mr. Lollar said, "What if he is telling the truth about these three and telling the truth about the five?"

Assistant District Attorney Howard Blackmon said the guilty pleas only bolster the state's ability to prosecute Mr. Kos, 52, on the five remaining charges, because he has now admitted to molesting two children three times. One of the three guilty pleas pertains to performing oral sex on a 14-year-old boy.

A well-known Dallas-based defense attorney said Mr. Lollar may be relying on a "confession and avoidance" strategy.

"It looks good to make an admission," said the attorney, who asked that his name not be used. "And he is trying to avoid being hammered on the more serious charges."

Last year, a civil jury found in favor of 11 plaintiffs and returned a $119.6 million judgment against Mr. Kos and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. Jurors found that the diocese covered up the abuse and urged church leaders to "admit your guilt."

Three of the complainants in the criminal case were plaintiffs in the civil case.

In his opening argument Tuesday, Mr. Blackmon told the jury in state District Judge Janice L. Warder's court that Mr. Kos turned the altar server programs at his churches into a "flesh pool" for recruiting victims. Mr. Kos coaxed the boys to his rectory with computer games and movies and infiltrated their families to gain access and trust, Mr. Blackmon said.

"The defendant lured these boys and groomed them," Mr. Blackmon said. "He turned these rectories into playgrounds for these select group of boys."

Nathan Nichols, the first of the four complainants in the criminal case to take the stand, testified Tuesday that he never questioned Mr. Kos about the molestation because he trusted him as a man of God.

"He is a priest. I didn't think he could do anything wrong," Mr. Nichols testified. "I didn't really know it was wrong. . . . I was embarrassed to talk about it with anybody else. I thought I was the only one."

Mr. Nichols, now 18, said Mr. Kos molested him continually in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the defendant served as pastor at St. John's Catholic Church in Ennis. Mr. Nichols was 12 and 13 at the time of the offenses alleged in the indictments.

He testified that Mr. Kos would begin molesting him by taking his socks off, rubbing his feet and sucking on his toes. That, he said, would lead to Mr. Kos gratifying himself sexually with Mr. Nichols' foot.

"It happened pretty much every time I was with him," said Mr. Nichols, adding that Mr. Kos sometimes molested him while wearing his priest clothes.

Under cross-examination, Mr. Nichols said that he did not initially tell his mother about the abuse when she asked about it and that he gave differing accounts of the frequency of abuse. In a November 1993 deposition, Mr. Nichols said he was molested 10 to 15 times, compared with the estimated 450 times he testified to in the civil trial and on Tuesday.

When questioned by Mr. Lollar about the discrepancies, Mr. Nichols said: "I didn't lie, sir. I simply wasn't true to myself."

Asked whether he knew that it was inappropriate to allow a grown man to suck on his toes, Mr. Nichols said he thought everything a priest does is right.

"I thought he was infallible," he said.

In his deposition and at the civil trial, Mr. Nichols said Mr. Kos molested him during a skiing trip in Colorado. On Tuesday, Mr. Nichols testified that he did not remember such an incident on that trip. Also at the civil trial, Mr. Nichols said he did not remember the first time Mr. Kos allegedly abused him. On Tuesday, he said he remembered.

Mr. Nichols was awarded $8 million during the civil trial. Under questioning from Mr. Lollar, he denied exaggerating the abuse to inflate the civil judgment.

"Are you lying to these people about what he did to you?" Mr. Blackmon asked.

"No, sir, I'm not," Mr. Nichols replied.

"Are you lying just for money?" Mr. Blackmon asked.

"No, sir," said Mr. Nichols.

Matt Zmolik, a friend of Mr. Nichols', testified Tuesday that he saw Mr. Kos rub Mr. Nichols' foot on the defendant's crotch multiple times. "It happened so often. It was a regular occurrence," Mr. Zmolik said.

Mr. Lollar said outside the courtroom that he believes Mr. Nichols and the other complainants have consistently been exaggerating the abuse. Although Mr. Kos pleaded not guilty to the two specific indictments involving Mr. Nichols, Mr. Lollar declined Tuesday to say whether his client denies ever molesting Mr. Nichols.

He said Mr. Nichols has told so many stories over the years about the events "that I think it calls his credibility into question entirely."

Mr. Blackmon said that assertion was untrue.

"You can't expect some kid to come out and tell you everything that a molester has done," he said. "This is nothing unusual for him to try and minimize his exposure to this child molester."

Leona Honza, a housekeeper at St. John's , testified Tuesday that she saw Mr. Kos kiss on boys' necks and tickle them. But, she said, she never saw what she would consider improper conduct.

Father Robert Williams, Mr. Kos' assistant pastor in Ennis, said he became suspicious when he first joined the church. He, too, noticed boys gathering in the rectory. He even saw Mr. Kos once in bed with a boy, he said.

"It hit me right away," he said. "This is strange. This is unusual."

After confronting Mr. Kos about the situation, he said, the defendant agreed not to allow the boys to spend the night in the rectory. Mr. Kos complied for a while, then started seeing the boys at their homes, Mr. Williams said.

Mr. Williams described for the jury one confrontation in which he told Mr. Kos in front of several boys who wanted to play in the rectory that the defendant promised not to allow the youths in there. Mr. Kos, he said, looked at him with the "most intense hatred" he'd ever seen.

Mr. Lollar said he believes that Mr. Nichols and Mr. Kos' other accusers are unable to admit to exaggerating the allegations because that would jeopardize the civil judgment.

"He can't come in now and say it wasn't true," Mr. Lollar said of Mr. Nichols.

Mr. Blackmon called that line of reasoning "a bunch of nonsense."

"If they were just after money," he said, "they would not be anywhere near this courthouse."


Pleads Guilty to Three Counts of Molesting Boy


By Associated Press
Amarillo (TX) Globe-News
March 25, 1998

http://www.amarillonet.com/stories/032598/boys.shtml

Dallas (AP) - A suspended Roman Catholic priest admitted in court Tuesday that he sexually abused altar boys, pleading guilty to three of eight counts against him as his molestation trial started.

The Rev. Rudolph Kos, 52, could be sentenced to between two and 20 years in prison for one count of sexual assault of a child and two of indecency with a child. Prosecutors are still seeking convictions on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two indecency counts.

Defense attorney Brad Lollar said Kos "believes he is guilty of three of the eight indictments," but would not elaborate on the decision to enter guilty pleas before the first witness took the stand.

Kos and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas lost a $119.6 million lawsuit last summer over the abuse and alleged attempts to cover it up. It was the largest judgment in a clergy sex-abuse case in U.S. history.

In his opening statement, prosecutor Howard Blackman told jurors that Kos abused the power of the priesthood to prey on the altar boys.

"He assumed control of the altar servers," Blackman said. "Evidence will show how this man, who was supposed to be their spiritual guide, used them for his own selfish sexual gratification."

The Rev. Robert Williams, assistant pastor at St. John's Catholic Church in Ennis when Kos was pastor there, described confronting him after many young boys were staying overnight at the rectory.

Williams said he heard boys ask to play video games in Kos' bedroom and told the priest, " 'Rudy, you promised not to have boys into your room any more.' He looked at me with the most intense hatred I've ever seen on a human face in my whole life."

Williams' intervention eventually led to Kos' leaving the parish.

Nathan Nichols, 18, told jurors Tuesday that he was in the fifth grade when Kos began molesting him. Nichols is one of four young men who told police Kos molested them about 1,350 times from 1981 to 1992.

Nichols, who agreed to be identified, said he and other boys spent much time with Kos watching movies, playing video games and having sleepovers.

On cross-examination, Lollar attacked Nichols' credibility by citing inconsistencies between his testimony Tuesday and in a November 1993 deposition. Nichols changed the number of times he was molested and his age when the abuse started.

"Did you lie?" Lollar asked.

"No," Nichols said. "I wasn't true to myself. I was insecure about telling another man that another man had molested me."


Kos Trial Witness Recall Abuse at 13
Suspended Priest Maintains Victim Was 14
Issue Could Affect Sentence

By Michael Saul
Dallas Morning News
March 26, 1998

When former altar boy Michael Pawlik testified Wednesday about his earliest recollection of Rudolph "Rudy" Kos, the suspended Catholic priest smiled for a brief moment during his criminal sex-abuse trial.

"My first memories of him are him chasing me around the parking lot of All Saint's [Catholic Church], trying to tickle me," Mr. Pawlik testified. "I thought he was great . . . All the priests I had met prior to meeting Father Kos were real serious..” Mr. Pawlik, 24, is one of two complainants who testified Wednesday about allegations that could send Mr. Kos to prison for life. Mr. Kos is charged with eight counts of child sexual abuse involving four young men who told police that they were molested about 1,350 times.

Mr. Kos, 52, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three of the eight charges. Those guilty pleas are for second-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

But it's the most serious of the remaining five charges - the three first-degree felonies - that are crucial to prosecutors because they carry the most severe punishment.

In the two cases involving Mr. Pawlik, Mr. Kos pleaded guilty to performing oral sex on Mr. Pawlik when he was 14 years old and pleaded not guilty to performing oral sex on him when he was 13 years old. The charge involving Mr. Pawlik as a 13-year-old is a first-degree felony. The charge when he was 14 is a second-degree felony.

Mr. Pawlik testified Wednesday that he distinctly remembers Mr. Kos performing oral sex on him in November and December of 1987 before his 14th birthday.

Brad Lollar, one of Mr. Kos' court-appointed attorneys, questioned Mr. Pawlik about testimony that he gave in last year's civil trial to try to raise reasonable doubt as to when the oral sex began. Mr. Pawlik testified at the civil trial that the oral sex began when he was "approximately" 14 years old.

In an effort to explain the discrepancy, Mr. Pawlik said he was first asked to determine the exact age when the oral sex began as part of the criminal proceedings against Mr. Kos. He also said that the instance of oral sex to which Mr. Kos pleaded guilty to was not the first such incident.

"How did you feel when your priest was performing oral sex on you? " asked Assistant District Attorney Howard Blackmon, the lead prosecutor.

"I was extremely confused. I didn't know if he was doing it to satisfy me or satisfy himself," he said. "I would get in the shower and clean myself because I felt dirty.

"My soul felt dirty . . .. I would try to understand why it was happening. I got angry at God.”

Prosecutors presented on Wednesday an audio tape in which Mr. Kos admits to fondling Mr. Pawlik six or seven times and engaging in oral sex with him two or three times. On the tape, Mr. Kos does not specify Mr. Pawlik's age at the time of the oral sex.

In testimony late Wednesday afternoon, a 19-year-old man testified that that Mr. Kos performed oral sex on him twice at age 13 during the 1992 Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

The incidents occurred, the man testified, while Mr. Kos was on leave from a facility in New Mexico where he was seeking treatment after Mr. Pawlik made his outcry of abuse.

The 19-year-old, who asked not to be identified, is the only complainant among the four in the criminal case who was not part of last year's civil trial against Mr. Kos and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.

Unlike Mr. Kos' other accusers, who reported a pattern of abuse that often lasted several years, the 19-year-old said his molestations were isolated and occurred at his home while Mr. Kos was staying there.

The 19-year-old said Mr. Kos and his father are good friends, and that is why Mr. Kos was spending the night with his family.

"All of a sudden we have a case where they presented a complainant who states that, in his own bed, in his own house, with his father in the next room, out of the blue, with no grooming of any kind or nature, all of a sudden, the defendant does something sexual with him," Mr. Lollar said.

"It does not fit the M.O. that the state has presented.”

The defense is scheduled to cross examine the 19-year-old Thursday morning.

A mother of one of the young men testified Wednesday that her son, Nathan Nichols, told her about the molestation after she heard a news report about Mr. Kos.

"My first reaction was I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe he had been accused of abusing boys. And I was terrified that Nathan was one of them," said a teary-eyed Katie Nichols, recounting her son's outcry.

"He said, `Mom, he got me too,' " Ms. Nichols said. "He said he abused me too. "


Kos Urged Silence, Abuse Victim Says
State to Rest in Suspended Priest's Trial

By Michael Saul
Dallas Morning News
March 27, 1998

A teary-eyed 26-year-old man whom Rudolph "Rudy" Kos admits molesting testified Thursday that the suspended Catholic priest once urged him to remain silent about the sex abuse, telling him nobody would believe his story.

A nervous Tracy Lemoine locked eyes for several seconds with the man who pleaded guilty to molesting him. He then proceeded to tell the jury in state District Janice L. Warder's court how Mr. Kos sexually abused him.

"He was like a best friend to me . . .," Mr. Lemoine said. "I thought he cared about me. He always told me he loved me.”

Mr. Kos, 52, is charged with eight counts of child sexual abuse involving four young men who told police they were molested a total of about 1,350 times.

Mr. Kos pleaded guilty Tuesday to three charges, two of which involve Mr. Lemoine.

Prosecutors said late Thursday that they planned to present at least one more witness Friday morning and probably would rest before noon. Depending on the number of defense witnesses, Judge Warder said, the jury might begin deliberating by day's end.

Brad Lollar, Mr. Kos' court-appointed attorney, declined Thursday to reveal whether his client planned to testify.

"It's his natural inclination to want to testify, to deny some of the things that have been said about him. But it seems like the complainants have done a pretty good job in the past sworn testimony of denying some of the stuff themselves," Mr. Lollar said.

Discrepancies between the complainants' testimony this week and their statements during last year's civil litigation against the Catholic Diocese of Dallas and Mr. Kos should create enough reasonable doubt to win acquittals on the remaining five charges, Mr. Lollar said.

In testimony Thursday, Mr. Lemoine told the jury that the abuse began when Mr. Kos was stationed at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Irving. Mr. Kos quickly gained his trust, he said, and the physical contact continued past his 17th birthday.

The first time Mr. Kos performed oral sex on him, Mr. Lemoine said, the priest "fixed me some mixed drinks. " He said he fell asleep and awoke to find Mr. Kos abusing him. Another time, Mr. Lemoine said, he suspected that Mr. Kos engaged in anal sex with him after he drank heavily and passed out.

Mr. Lemoine testified that Mr. Kos would shower him with money and gifts and then would make him feel guilty if he was reluctant to spend time with him.

"I was ashamed and embarrassed," said Mr. Lemoine, who has since married and has two children.

Mr. Kos pleaded guilty to two counts of indecency with a child in connection with placing Mr. Lemoine's feet on his crotch. In regard to the other sexual contact, Mr. Lollar said, "They were both adults under Texas law at the time.”

Assistant District Attorney Howard Blackmon said the sexual contact after Mr. Lemoine's 17th birthday described in his testimony is "criminal" if taken in the context of the relationship.

"It goes to the intent of Kos to have sexual gratification at the expense of these young men," Mr. Blackmon said.

Prosecutors have said they are seeking a life sentence for Mr. Kos on each of the three first-degree felonies. Mr. Lollar said he hopes to get acquittals on those charges based on the following discrepancies:

*Nicholas Porter, 19, testified Thursday that he was molested by Mr. Kos but that he never told anybody that he was 10 at the time. However, Mr. Lemoine testified during the civil trial that Mr. Porter told him that Mr. Kos abused him when he was 10. On Thursday, Mr. Lemoine said he didn't remember how he "got the 10 figure. "

* Michael Pawlik, 24, testified Wednesday that Mr. Kos performed oral sex on him at age 13. At the civil trial, Mr. Pawlik testified that the oral sex began at "approximately" age 14. At the earlier age, the charge is a first-degree felony punishable with life in prison.

After the cross-examination of Mr. Porter on Thursday, Mr. Lollar said the credibility of his testimony is suspect because he didn't come forward until last year.

"Rudy Kos, at this point, is a sitting duck for any child who is a teenager that was ever alone with him for five minutes," he said.

"You don't need corroboration. You got a deep-pockets defendant that you can go after.”

The deep-pockets defendant, Mr. Lollar said, is the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, which lost a $119.9 million judgment in a civil trial last year. Mr. Porter has since filed suit against the church.

Mr. Blackmon said it's not unusual for sexual-abuse victims, such as Mr. Porter, to conceal their molestation for years.

"This is very hard for them," Mr. Blackmon said. It cuts to the quick "of these boys, having been brought up in the Catholic Church, to be betrayed by their priest, by their best friend, by their mentor. "


Ex-Priest's Sexual Abuse Trial Goes to Jury

By Associated Press
Amarillo (TX) Globe-News
March 28, 1998

http://www.amarillonet.com/stories/032898/LD0677.001.shtml

Dallas (AP) - Jurors were told to return to the courthouse this morning to continue deliberating the fate of a suspended Catholic priest accused of molesting altar boys.

Rudolph "Rudy" Kos, 52, is charged with eight counts of sex abuse involving four young men who told police they were molested a total of about 1,350 times.

Sex-abuse allegations against Kos and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas have already led to a jury award of $119.6 million, the largest monetary judgment in any clergy sex-abuse case in U.S. history.

The jury in the criminal case before state District Judge Janice L. Warder spent five hours Friday deliberating Kos' guilt before being sequestered for the evening in a nearby hotel.

The panel is considering whether he is guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, punishable by up to life in prison, and two counts of indecency with a child, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The former clergyman entered guilty pleas as his trial opened Tuesday to one count of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child. All are second-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Kos entered his plea before the first witness, an 18-year-old former altar boy, testified about being molested during Kos' tenure as pastor at St. John's Catholic Church in Ennis from 1988 to 1992.
Kos did not testify in either the criminal or the civil trial against him.

In closing arguments Friday, prosecutor Howard Blackmon urged the jury to hold Kos accountable for what the witnesses said he did.

"Find him guilty across the board," Blackmon said. "End his trail of betrayal and deceit."

Defense lawyer Brad Lollar said the four young men's testimony was inconsistent on several points with their previous accounts in the civil trial and depositions. The attorney said one of the plaintiffs lied about his age at the time of an alleged assault in order to make Kos face a harsher penalty.

"It's hard to defend a man who admits he has molested children," Lollar said. But, he added, "Rudy Kos is a sitting duck for any teen-ager who was ever alone with him for five minutes."

Lollar suggested the the four young men were "exaggerating and fabricating" incidents to preserve or encourage large monetary damages in civil cases against Kos.

Blackmon said that was ridiculous and said the defense was trying to make the victims the criminals rather than Kos.

"The defense has turned this into some sort of treasure hunt for these boys," Blackmon said. "They have already won that case. Why would they come in here and risk the millions?"

Blackmon said the boys want to hold Kos personally responsible.

"Who cares about money? They now want him to pay for what he has done to them for years," Blackmon said.

Kos' first accuser in the criminal case, Nathan Nichols of Ennis, testified that he and other boys spent time with Kos watching movies, playing video games, having sleep-overs, even making two trips to Kos' family farm in Magnolia.

Nichols, who agreed to be identified, testified that when he and Kos shared a blanket as they watched a TV movie, the priest moved Nichols' foot against his crotch and rubbed it for sexual gratification.

Blackmon asked why he didn't object.

"For one thing, he's a priest. I didn't think he could do anything wrong, anything to hurt people," Nichols answered.


Kos Jury Halts after Five Hours
Deliberations Resume Today on Sex Charges

By Michael Saul
Dallas Morning News
March 28, 1998

Jurors in the criminal trial of suspended Catholic priest Rudolph "Rudy" Kos were sequestered Friday night after deliberating more than five hours without reaching verdicts on eight molestation charges.

"Find him guilty across the board and end his reign of betrayal and deceit," Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Howard Blackmon said during a fiery closing argument that brought one juror to tears.

"Finally, hold him responsible for what he has done to these boys," he said.

Mr. Kos, at the center of the largest clergy sex-abuse judgment in U.S. history, is charged with eight counts of child sexual abuse involving four young men who told police they were molested about 1,350 times. Mr. Kos, 52, a former nurse and Air Force medic, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three of those charges.

The remaining five charges include three first-degree felonies.

Each first-degree felony charge carries a maximum punishment of life in prison and a $10,000 fine. The three charges to which Mr. Kos pleaded guilty are second-degree felonies. Each of those is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Jurors must return verdicts in all eight cases, including - as a formality - the three charges to which Mr. Kos pleaded guilty.

Discrepancies between the complainants' testimony this week and their statements during last year's civil litigation against Mr. Kos and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas undermine their credibility, said Brad Lollar, Mr. Kos' court-appointed attorney.

"These complainants will exaggerate, will obfuscate, will elaborate and will fabricate when they need to," Mr. Lollar said.

"And that is what you've got to determine: Have they exaggerated? Are they in fact fabricating?”

State District Judge Janice L. Warder decided to sequester the jurors about 8:10 p.m. after they sent out five notes, four of which dealt with one of the second-degree felonies. The jury is scheduled to resume deliberations Saturday morning.

"I do not believe you can read anything into this," said Mr. Lollar, commenting on the jurors' failure to reach a verdict Friday. "The jury is taking their time looking at the evidence. " At the top of his closing argument, Mr. Lollar conceded that his client is a child molester.

"Rudy Kos is telling you that it is true that he has had sex with minors. . . . To that extent, Rudy Kos has broken the law," Mr. Lollar said. "He is going to have to pay the price, and you will be determining that price. " But, Mr. Lollar said, his client is seeking an acquittal on the five remaining charges because the prosecutors have failed to prove them beyond a reasonable doubt.

Mr. Lollar accused the three complainants who were part of the lawsuit of overestimating the number of times they were abused in an effort to increase the size of the monetary judgment.

In July, the civil jury found in favor of 11 plaintiffs and returned a $119.6 million judgment against Mr. Kos and the diocese.

The civil jurors found that the diocese had covered up the abuse and urged church leaders to "admit your guilt. " Mr. Blackmon told jurors that it's absurd to believe that these young men have lied about years of sexual abuse and dragged their families through the ordeal of a criminal trial simply because they are greedy.

"There is absolutely no reason to pursue these criminal charges if they just want their money. They have won that case, folks. Why would they come in here now and subject themselves to this ridicule? " Mr. Blackmon said. "They want to hold him personally responsible. Who cares about money? They want him now to pay for what he has done.”

Mr. Blackmon said Mr. Kos held himself out to be a man of God and then betrayed his flock for his own sexual gratification. Mr. Lollar said his client would eventually have to answer to a higher court for his crimes but that now he is a target for false accusations.

"Rudy Kos is a sitting duck for any teenage kid who was ever alone with him for five minutes," Mr. Lollar said in his argument.

"It is just the easiest type of criminal accusation to make. Period. "

In response, Mr. Blackmon said: "When they come in here and say that it is poor Rudy who is like a sitting duck, how many parents in this world wish there wasn't a hunting season for people like this? "

With respect to the five charges to which Mr. Kos pleaded not guilty, Mr. Lollar cited these points as establishing reasonable doubt:

* Michael Pawlik, now 24, testified that Mr. Kos performed oral sex on him when he was 13. During the civil trial, Mr. Pawlik testified that he was "approximately" 14 years old. The offense is a first-degree felony if the victim is 13. It's a second-degree felony if the victim is 14.

* Nicholas Porter, now 19, testified that Mr. Kos performed oral sex on him twice at his home in November and December 1992, when he was 13. During the civil trial, another complainant testified that Mr. Porter told him that the abuse occurred when he was 10.

* Nathan Nichols, an Ellis County resident who turned 19 on Friday, testified that Mr. Kos used his feet to gratify himself sexually at Mr. Kos' friend's home in Irving in December 1991 and June 1992. In previous sworn testimony, he said Mr. Kos molested him only once in Dallas County.

"The problem is that they have not consistently told the same story," Mr. Lollar said. "We are not just talking about minor differences. We are talking about major differences. " Four of the jurors' notes to the judge centered on Mr. Nichols' testimony.

"We are in conflict regarding the testimony of Nathan Nichols concerning the June '92 foot thing," the presiding juror wrote.

The fifth note dealt with Mr. Blackmon's closing argument in reference to Mr. Pawlik's allegations.

Mr. Blackmon told the jury that the men have been traumatized by Mr. Kos' abuse. All initially denied that it occurred. And some testified that they gradually remembered different incidents.

"How are these boys supposed to keep track? You know they are not keeping a diary of each time," Mr. Blackmon said. "Don't reward the defendant for being such a prolific child molester. " During his closing argument, Mr. Blackmon showed the jurors pictures of each of the complainants when they were younger because, he said, he wanted to remind them exactly what Mr. Kos' victims looked like at the time of the offenses.

In a dramatic move, he also asked the complainants to stand as he said, "Who was the defendant's favorite in Dallas? . . . Who was his favorite in Irving. . . . Who was his favorite in Ennis?”

In testimony Friday morning, Dr. Jay R. Feierman, a psychiatrist affiliated with a facility in New Mexico where Mr. Kos sought treatment, told the jury that Mr. Kos admitted molesting several minors from churches in Dallas, Irving and Ennis.

Katie Nichols, the mother of one of the complainants, said she is hopeful that the jury will find Mr. Kos guilty on every count.

"He deserves life in prison without parole. He does not need to be out near any children at any time," she said.

"When a child is being molested - whether it is one time, 10 times, 400 times - it is too many," Mrs. Nichols said. "These children can't remember every single thing. They don't want to remember it. "


Kos Guilty of 7 Counts of Sex Abuse
Suspended Priest May Get Life in Nation's Largest Such Case

By Michael Saul
Dallas Morning News
March 29, 1998

A Dallas County jury convicted suspended Catholic priest Rudolph "Rudy" Kos on Saturday of seven counts of child sexual abuse, Rudolph Kospaving the way for prosecutors to seek a life sentence.

The jury in state District Judge Janice L. Warder's court deliberated about 71/2 hours over two days before finding Mr. Kos guilty on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, one count of sexual assault of a child and three counts of indecency with a child.

The jurors found Mr. Kos not guilty of one count of indecency with a child. In that case, the complainant gave differing accounts about the alleged abuse, Mr. Kos' attorneys argued.

Mr. Kos, a former nurse and Air Force medic at the center of the largest clergy sex-abuse judgment in U.S. history, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three of the eight charges. As a formality, jurors were required to return verdicts in those cases as well as those to which Mr. Kos pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Kos showed little reaction Saturday as Judge Warder announced the jury's verdict. The jury is scheduled to return to court Monday morning to begin the trial's punishment phase.

The three aggravated sexual assault charges - first-degree felonies - each carry a maximum punishment of life in prison and a $10,000 fine. The other convictions are second-degree felonies and are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $10,000 fine. Mr. Kos' punishment for all seven cases will be served simultaneously.

"I hope he gets the maximum allowable sentence under the law. He doesn't need to be on streets. We don't need any more victims," said Steven David Porter, the father of one of the victims. "Let's put him away for a long, long time."

Brad Lollar, one of Mr. Kos' court-appointed attorneys, said he and his client are disappointed with the jury's decision.

"We did what we could in regard to the accusations. The jury considered them very carefully and found with us in one case and against us in the others," Mr. Lollar said. "I'm just happy they looked at the evidence as long as they did."

The Rev. Glenn "Duffy" Gardner, the Dallas diocese's vicar general, said in a telephone interview Saturday he is pleased that the matter is drawing to a close.

"My heart goes out to the victims, and I will keep Rudy in my prayers, too," Monsignor Gardner said. "It's a sad situation all the way around." The four complainants - Michael Pawlik, now 24; Tracy Lemoine, 26; Nathan Nichols, 19; and Nicholas Porter, 19 - told police that Mr. Kos molested them about 1,350 times. The young men said Mr. Kos used their feet to gratify himself sexually. Three of them said Mr. Kos performed oral sex on them.

In the one acquittal, the jury found Mr. Kos not guilty in an incident in Irving involving Mr. Nichols in June 1992. The panel, however, found Mr. Kos guilty in a December 1991 incident concerning Mr. Nichols.

Mr. Lollar told the jury in his closing argument that discrepancies between Mr. Nichols' testimony in the criminal trial and his testimony during last year's civil trial placed in question his credibility.

Mr. Nichols testified last week that the "foot thing" occurred twice in Irving. Previously, he said it happened only once in Irving.

Assistant District Attorney Howard Blackmon, the lead prosecutor, said the acquittal in that case reaffirms the fairness of the jurors.

"How can we be disappointed in what a fair jury is doing? All this goes to show is that they are a fair group of people," Mr. Blackmon said.

Mr. Blackmon said he believes the jury's verdict carries a message about priests who betray their flock.

"This type of activity will not be tolerated," he said. "People will be held responsible. " Mr. Blackmon said Mr. Kos "will have a lot to answer for" during the punishment phase. More of Mr. Kos' accusers are expected to testify.

If sentenced to life in prison, Mr. Kos would first be eligible for parole in 30 years. Mr. Kos, however, is eligible for probation because he has no previous felony convictions.

Mr. Lollar declined Saturday to say what punishment he thought his client deserves. Asked whether his client felt remorse, Mr. Lollar said: "Certainly, I think you will be hearing something about his remorse in the punishment phase. " Mr. Lollar said he will attempt to present to the jury a balanced picture of Mr. Kos.

In July, a civil jury found in favor of 11 plaintiffs and returned a $119.6 million judgment against Mr. Kos and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. Following an 11-week trial, the civil jurors found that the diocese had covered up the abuse and urged church leaders to admit guilt.

Three of the plaintiffs have settled with the diocese. The diocese said Saturday in a written statement, "We continue to work toward final resolution of the civil cases, and we are hopeful of closure on this painful chapter of the church's history."

Monsignor Gardner said he has no opinion as to what punishment Mr. Kos should receive. He said he is confident the jurors will follow their conscience when administering justice.

"Rudy Kos has been a sick puppy his whole life . . . I thank God I wasn't plagued with that particular problem," Monsignor Gardner said. "We are going to pray for all parties and that God be merciful to anybody who commits a crime."

Susan Scroggins, Mr. Nichols' aunt, said there is nothing her nephew could do that would make her prouder than standing up to Mr. Kos and the diocese.

"I have no pity for Rudy. He is a sick man, and the diocese is just as guilty as if they had committed the crimes themselves," she said.

Mr. Kos never responded to last year's civil litigation and never attended that trial. For that reason, his accusers and their families said they regarded Saturday as, finally, judgment day.

Mr. Pawlik, the first of Mr. Kos' accusers, came forward more than five years ago. He and Mr. Kos' other accusers smiled as the judge announced the verdict. When court adjourned, they hugged friends and family.

"I'm just proud of the boys that they had the courage to confront this predator," said Mr. Pawlik's father, Richard Pawlik.

"He needs to be put in jail for life.

Nancy Lemberger, whose 21-year-old son, Jay Lemberger, killed himself in 1992, after years of Mr. Kos' alleged sexual abuse, said she, too, is pleased with the jurors' decision. She and her husband hold Mr. Kos responsible for their son's death. “It's not like he is going to get better."

In his closing argument Friday, Mr. Lollar told the jury that his client is an admitted child molester. He told the jurors that they will determine the price his client must pay, but he reminded them that the suspended priest has a higher power to answer to.

"He is going to have to pay a higher price," he said. "He broke vows that he had taken, and there will be a higher court than this one that he will have to answer to in that regard.”



Ex-Priest Convicted of Abuse

Associated Press
Amarillo (TX) Globe-News
March 29, 1998

http://www.amarillonet.com/stories/032998/LG3035.001.shtml

Dallas (AP) - A former priest was convicted Saturday of sexually abusing altar boys in a case that has devastated the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.

A jury deliberated 7 1/2 hours over two days before finding Rudolph Kos, 52, guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual assault and one of indecency with a child.

The jury acquitted Kos of one indecency count involving the alleged molestation of one altar boy.

The victims and their families greeted the verdicts with smiles and hugs. From Kos, there was no visible reaction as he turned and looked at the jury as it was polled on each count.

The punishment phase is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Monday.

Kos had pleaded guilty earlier in the week to one count of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child.

The eight-count indictment alleged sexual abuse involving four former altar boys who said they were molested a total of about 1,350 times.

After five hours' deliberation Friday, the Dallas County jury continued their discussions throughout Saturday morning before returning its verdict about 11:30 a.m.

Sex-abuse allegations against Kos have already led to a jury award of $119.6 million against Kos and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. That was the largest monetary judgment in any clergy sex-abuse case in U.S. history.

The panel is considering whether he is guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, punishable by up to life in prison, and two counts of indecency with a child, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The former clergyman entered guilty pleas as his trial opened Tuesday to one count of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child. All are second-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Kos entered his plea before the first witness, an 18-year-old former altar boy, testified about being molested during Kos' tenure as pastor at St. John's Catholic Church in Ennis from 1988-92.

Kos did not testify in either the criminal or the civil trial against him.

In closing arguments Friday, prosecutor Howard Blackmon urged the jury to hold Kos accountable for what the witnesses said he did.

"Find him guilty across the board," Blackmon said. "End his trail of betrayal and deceit."


Kos' Testimony Depends on Judge, His Lawyer Says
Punishment Phase Continues in Sex-Abuse Trial

By Michael Saul
Dallas Morning News
March 31, 1998

An attorney for suspended Catholic priest Rudolph "Rudy" Kos said Monday his client is awaiting a ruling from the judge before deciding whether he will testify during the punishment phase of his criminal sex-abuse trial.

"There is one major issue that the court is going to rule on which could very much affect whether or not Mr. Kos testifies," said Brad Lollar, one of Mr. Kos' court-appointed attorneys.

"Any time you got a defendant where the allegation has been made that there are other and subsequent offenses besides the one on trial, then it's a major issue as to whether or not the defendant should be made to answer those questions."

Mr. Kos, 52, was convicted Saturday of seven of eight counts of child sexual abuse involving four young men who told police they were molested about 1,350 times. He was acquitted of one count of indecency with a child.

Three of the seven convictions are first-degree felonies that are punishable by up to life in prison. Mr. Kos would serve his punishment on all seven convictions simultaneously. If sentenced to life in prison, he would first be eligible for parole in 15 years.

He also is eligible for probation.

Assistant District Attorney Howard Blackmon, the lead prosecutor on the case, said the state plans to rest Tuesday morning.

In testimony Monday morning, a psychiatrist who examined three of the four victims in the criminal case told the jury that the young men suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and will require decades of therapy.

"The trauma has overwhelmed these boys because it is cumulative.

It is not just one trauma. It is a multiplicity of trauma," said Dr. Gilbert Kliman.

Dr. Kliman testified that Mr. Kos used a similar method for selecting and seducing his victims. Mr. Kos sought victims who were especially vulnerable and less likely to resist, he said.

Mr. Lollar said Mr. Kliman's testimony is predicated on the assumption that the boys were chronically abused. That, he said, is suspect because the number of instances in which the boys are alleging ballooned after Dr. Kliman's examination.

"It is a matter of historical fact that, prior to the time Kliman and his group of 24 saw these guys, their claims were in the single digits. After he saw them, their claims were in the 400 to 500 range," Mr. Lollar said.

Dr. Kliman said he is receiving about $10,000 for his testimony.

Mr. Lollar said his fee is a factor that the jury should consider when determining his credibility.

Later in the afternoon, an FBI agent testified about patterns of behavior in child sexual molesters. Mr. Kos' defense attorneys unsuccessfully argued that the agent should not testify because he has no direct knowledge about the case.

The jury also heard from three men who testified that Mr. Kos is not a law-abiding citizen. All three said outside the jury's presence that they were molested by Mr. Kos. But state law at the time that the offenses occurred in the criminal case prevents these men from testifying about Mr. Kos' alleged abuse with them.

Testimony is scheduled to resume Tuesday morning.

 
 

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money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems