Dallas shined spotlight on pedophile priests before events in Oscar-winning film

The Dallas Morning News

Julieta Chiquillo

Before a 2002 Boston Globe investigation rocked the Catholic Church and inspired an Oscar-winning movie, Dallas reporter Brooks Egerton was unveiling the church’s systemic cover-up of pedophile priests.

Egerton was an editor at The Dallas Morning News in the early 1990s when Rudolph “Rudy” Kos was accused of molesting boys at several Dallas-area churches. The newspaper was covering the priest’s civil trial, but Egerton pushed for reporting that went beyond the courtroom.

He was aware of sexual abuse scandals involving priests across the country — most notably in Louisiana, where priest Gilbert Gauthe admitted he abused dozens of children — and saw a story much larger than one bad priest.

“The details of the South Louisiana stuff were just shocking, and to think that it could have happened anywhere, much less in multiple places, was kind of shocking,” Egerton said Monday.

Four years after the first suit was filed against Kos, Egerton — who by then was working as a reporter again — flew to San Diego to track down the suspended priest. The church was not defending Kos, who was attempting to keep a low profile as a paralegal in his new home.

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