Priest Charged with Rape Wants to Ditch Ankle Monitor

By Amy Sherman
Centre Daily [Pennsylvania]
July 8, 2006

The Rev. Neil Doherty will ask a judge later this month to free him of his electronic ankle monitor. Doherty, 64, appeared in court this morning before Broward Circuit Judge Susan Lebow, who postponed his hearing until July 21.

After the brief hearing, Doherty's attorney, David Bogenschutz, said the monitoring device is disrupting Doherty's sleep and hurting his leg. They will present medical testimony about the problem at the July 21 hearing. Lebow previously denied a similar motion.

The former priest at St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Margate is accused of drugging and raping a young boy over a five-year period. Doherty is expected to go to trial next year.

He posted a $70,000 bond, and has been living with his sister in Palm Beach County for several months. Bogenschutz said his health is not good, but declined to offer details. Doherty, in a gray pinstriped suit, did not speak during the hearing.

Bogenschutz said Doherty is paying his legal fees, but he's not sure if the Archdiocese of Miami is reimbursing that expense.

Broward authorities began investigating Doherty in August 2005 after a Broward man, now 19, filed a $25 million lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Miami. The unidentified man accuses the church of allowing the priest to serve at the Margate parish despite having settled an earlier lawsuit that involved Doherty. Detectives found four other young men who said they experienced similar abuse by Doherty.

According to the suit, Doherty befriended the boy in 1996, when he was 10 years old, after meeting him at St. Vincent's. The suit contends that Doherty drugged and assaulted him starting when he was 11.


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