Cops: Teenager Was Victim of Sex Crime
By Oscar Corral
A retired Catholic priest who served in several Long Island parishes for more than 30 years was arrested last week and charged with sodomizing a mentally disabled teenager in a public rest room, Nassau police said yesterday.
The Rev. Andrew Millar, 69, who lived at the rectory of St. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church in Manorville, was arrested May 7 after police said he approached the 15-year-old boy inside a rest room at Tobay Beach and sodomized him. He was arraigned May 8 and released the next day after posting $ 7,500 bail.
"This appears to be a crime of opportunity," said Nassau Seventh Squad Det. Lt. Arthur McLouglin.
It is the first time a priest on Long Island has been charged with sexually abusing a minor, said Alan Placa, vice chancellor for the Rockville Centre Diocese, which includes Nassau and Suffolk. Millar, who last served as a parish priest at Maria Regina Church in Seaford from 1995 to 1999, had never been arrested before, police said.
On May 7, the teenager from Great Neck, his father and several other family members went to Tobay Beach to enjoy the warm weather, police said. Just after 4 p.m, the boy told his father he was going to the rest room and walked over to the pavilion alone.
"The child was already inside the stall in the bathroom when the priest came into the stall," McLouglin said. McLouglin said Millar, who was dressed casually in a shirt and slacks, did not use force to engage in sodomy with the victim.
After a while, the boy's father began to worry and went to check on his son.
When he walked inside, the father noticed his son was in a stall with someone else and pushed the stall door open, McLouglin said.
McLouglin said Millar took off running, and the boy's father, along with a bystander, caught him and detained him until police arrived. The boy's father told detectives his son has a severe learning disability.
The boy was taken to a hospital for a routine examination following a sex crime and released, McLouglin said.
Millar was released from the Nassau jail May 9 and was removed by the diocese last week from his living quarters at St. Peter and Paul Church.
"Right now he's in a diocesan facility under supervision, awaiting admission to a hospital for medical and psychiatric evaluation," Placa said.
Millar's Rockville Centre attorney, Peter Rubin, declined to comment on the case.
Millar was ordained in 1958 in Ireland and came to Long Island in 1964. Since then he has completed nine assignments, all as a parish priest.
His longest terms of service were at St. Christopher's Church in Baldwin, from 1964 to 1969; Our Lady of Grace Church in West Babylon, from 1970 to 1977; St. Matthew's Church in Dix Hills, from 1977 to 1982; St. Raymond's Church in East Rockaway, from 1982 to 1990; Sacred Heart Church in North Merrick, from 1990 to 1994; and Maria Regina Church in Seaford, from 1995 until his retirement last year.
Millar still attended mass on weekends to help out, priests said.
"I was surprised, shocked, horrified," said the Rev. John McGratty, pastor of St. Peter and Paul Church. "During his stay here he was a good priest."
Parishioners yesterday also were surprised to hear of Millar's arrest. They described him as a charming priest who liked to crack jokes.
"This kind of thing surprises me about anybody, not just a priest," said a parishioner from Maria Regina who asked that her name not be used. "He is a man of God."
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