Foley Lawyers Name Priest He Accuses
Lawyers for Mark Foley Gave Prosecutors the Name of a Priest They Said Molested the Disgraced Congressman When He Was a Boy

By Marc Caputo
Miami Herald [Florida]
October 19, 2006

Attorneys for disgraced former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley gave Palm Beach County prosecutors the name of the Catholic priest who allegedly abused their client when he was a boy.

In a one-paragraph written statement issued Wednesday, attorney Gerald Richman said the lawyers believe the priest who committed "sexual misconduct" no longer lives in the United States. Richman issued the statement after telephone conversations with attorneys for the Archdiocese of Miami and the Diocese of Palm Beach.

A spokesman for Palm Beach County State Attorney Barry Krischer said the office will not release the name of the suspect at this time. Krischer spokesman Mike Edmondson said a criminal case will be tough to prosecute because the statute of limitations on the as-yet-undescribed crime probably has passed.

"In cases of abuse, we need a specific allegation, and we don't have one right now," Edmondson said. "The victim would have to file a complaint, detail what occurred, when it happened and where."

Spokesmen for the two dioceses said they will await direction from the state attorney's office before acting further in the bizarre case.

After resigning his seat over lurid messages sent to teenage House pages, Foley declared he is gay, which many associates knew, and that he is an alcoholic, which has raised questions, because associates have said he was not a drinker. Foley then said he was sexually abused as a teenager. He is cloistered in a rehabilitation center at an undisclosed location.

Raised in a devout Roman Catholic family, Foley was an altar boy and attended Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach.

One of his former guidance counselors and a family friend, Palm Beach Councilman Bill Brooks, said he doesn't think Foley's claim of molestation is credible.

But attorney Richman said Tuesday: "I think it's going to be very clear in the coming days that it is a fact as opposed to . . . something made up for political purposes."

Miami Herald staff writer Jay Weaver contributed to this report.


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