Late Lodi Priest Accused of Abuse
By Keith Reid
April 25, 2006
Lodi — A deceased Lodi priest who taught at St. Mary's High School in Stockton for 15 years has been accused of sexually abusing a former student at St. Anne's Elementary School, the Stockton Diocese announced.
The Rev. Murty Fahy is named in connection with abuse of the St. Anne's student while he served as associate pastor of St. Anne's Catholic Church in the mid-1990s. Fahy worked at the church from 1985 until he died in 2001 at age 70. He taught at St. Mary's from 1970 to 1985, according to a statement from Bishop Stephen Blaire.
Church officials did not release age or gender information about the victim, but Nancy Sloan of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said the allegations come from a young woman who reported being abused by Fahy for three years, beginning when she was 8 and ending when she was 11. Sloan said she knows details of the allegations because the victim has confided in her and the network but wants to remain anonymous.
Sloan claimed Fahy abused the girl during school hours, usually by calling the girl's classroom teacher and requesting the student's assistance at another location at the school or at the church, across the street. She cited his office and the church basement as two places the girl and the priest were alone.
The Record was unable to locate any members of Fahy's family.
Fahy did not have a role at St. Anne's School, Principal Dennis Taricco said, noting he couldn't comment on the allegations, because the case is still under investigation. He called Fahy "a good man" and "a good priest, from my perspective."
Taricco, the school's principal for 13 years, said the campus complies fully with the Safe Environment Program put in place by the diocese. He said he is unaware of any other reports of sexual misconduct at the school during his tenure.
St. Anne's parishioners were caught off guard by the allegations against Fahy.
"I was shocked, in disbelief," said St. Anne's parishioner Kim Mulbarger, who has three daughters attending St. Anne's School. "I knew Father Fahy personally. He married my parents at their 25th reaffirmation. For people who know his character, ... it's hard for me to believe."
The Stockton Diocese has made public apologies for clergy abuse in the past and paid millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements. In 2004, Blaire released a statement apologizing for the actions of 10 priests accounting for 29 counts of sexual abuse since the founding of the diocese in 1962. Many of the abuse allegations were against former St. Anne's priest Oliver O'Grady, who spent seven years in jail after pleading guilty to four counts of sexual misconduct with children younger than 14 in 1993.
The allegation against Fahy is being investigated by the diocese in cooperation with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, according to Blaire's statement. Any person with information about this or other potential cases is asked to call the diocesan victim assistance coordinator at (209) 466-0636.
Contact reporter Keith Reid at (209) 367-7428 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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