Priest Captured in Colombia Arraigned on Michigan Sex Charges
John Rabideau, 44, Was Sought for More Than Seven Years in Several Child Abuse Cases

The Associated Press, carreid in The Detroit News
February 18, 2006

BAY CITY -- A Catholic priest sought by authorities for more than seven years in several child sex cases was arraigned Friday, nearly two weeks after he was arrested in Colombia.

John Steven Rabideau, 44, has been charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. He also faces six counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, which involves touching. Each second-degree charge has a maximum penalty of 15 years.

District Judge Scott J. Newcombe ordered Rabideau held without bond and scheduled a preliminary hearing for March 1.

Rabideau is accused of having sexual contact with three boys between the ages of 6 and 14 in Bay County's Williams Township in 1985 and 1987. The youths, who are now adults, reported the incidents in 1998. Authorities issued a warrant for Rabideau's arrest that year, and he has been considered a fugitive since then.

State police brought Rabideau to Bay City this week. He had been held in Miami-Dade County, Fla., since being apprehended and turned over to U.S. officials.

Bay County Prosecutor Joseph K. Sheeran has said the offenses had nothing to do with Rabideau's duties as a priest.

Rabideau was enrolled in the seminary at the Oblates of the Virgin Mary in Boston at the time of the reported offenses and was studying in Rome, an attorney for the organization said. Rabideau was allowed to return home during the summer, and he was from the Bay City area.


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