Indictment of Alleged Fondling Priest Released

By Angela Timmons
The Highlander News [Marble Falls TX]
March 16, 2006

The Burnet County grand jury indictment of a Roman Catholic priest, arrested in mid-December for allegedly groping a 16-year-old Burnet boy in a Marble Falls theater, was released Monday.

The indictment charges Father Paul Maurice Clogan with indecency with a child by contact. The indictment states Clogan "did then and there, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of said defendant, intentionally or knowingly engage in sexual contact with MFPD #208, a child younger than 17 years and not the spouse of the defendant."

Marble Falls Police Sgt. Glenn Hanson, who has led the investigation against Clogan since the Dec. 16, 2005, incident at Marble Falls' Driftwood Theater, said the priest had been the priest at Horseshoe Bay's St. Paul the Apostle Parish since August 2004.

Hanson said his investigation has involved documents from the Diocese of Austin, through which Clogan already was being investigated because of complaints from parishioners. A letter to Clogan from diocese Bishop Gregory Aymond informs the priest that he was to be transferred to lesser role in Austin effective Feb. 27, 2006.

Clogan was instructed to announce his transfer to St. Paul's congregation Dec. 17 and 18, the weekend that would follow his arrest for allegedly groping the young man's genitals during a Driftwood Theater showing of "King Kong."

While complaints were numerous - and derogatory - from parishioners here as well as those at a Mason parish where Clogan once presided, none indicated clandestine sexual behavior on the part of the priest, Hanson said. Many of the statements also indicate that the authors questioned the 74-year-old priest's mental capacities.

The Austin bishop also indicated in a letter that no previous allegations from other churches where Clogan served have ever come to his attention.

No additional outcries have been made by either children or adults with whom Clogan was previously associated, the sergeant said, but the 16-year-old victim holds steadfast to his claim.

"He's a very credible kid," Hanson said.

In his original statement to police, the juvenile claimed he had seen Clogan outside the theater "watching, as though he were waiting for someone" prior to the movie's start. The young man, who had gone to the movies by himself, also claimed the plain-clothed priest sat beside him although other empty seats were obviously available. After about an hour, Clogan allegedly firmly placed his hand on the juvenile's genitalia. The boy promptly left the theater and called the police.

The young man claims no conversation occurred between the two prior to the incident.

Hanson said when Clogan spotted the police outside the theater, he seemed to scout the area for an escape route, then refused to give his name and refused to admit he was carrying identification. When Hanson pressed the man for his identification, the sergeant noted Clogan's license photo depicted priestly garb.

Clogan was born July 9, 1931 in Boston, Mass., and ordained May 23, 1999. He served in Maine parishes until January 2001, when he was appointed associate pastor at Austin's St. Catherine of Siena. He served also in Bryan and Mason churches.


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