25-Year Sentence for Priest

Associated Press, carried in Worcester Telegram & Gazette
March 8, 2007

Eastland, Texas — A priest from Central Massachusetts was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in prison after being convicted of the aggravated sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy in the early 1990s.

The Rev. Thomas Teczar, 65, was a priest in the Worcester Diocese before taking an assignment in the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese until his departure in 1993. He served in several parishes in Texas, including Ranger, where the victim was abused.

Rev. Teczar, who lives in Dudley, Mass., and who served as a priest in the Worcester Diocese until the mid-1980s, was convicted yesterday on three counts of sexual assault and one count of indecency with a child. He was sentenced to 25 years for each assault charge and 15 for the indecency charge; all sentences will run concurrently, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in its online edition yesterday.

The victim, now in his late 20s, testified yesterday that Rev. Teczar used threats, persuasion and the use of his Mercedes to entice a boy, then 11 years old, to have sex and keep it a secret.

Rev. Teczar told him he could have him taken away from his mother, the man testified before a state district judge.

He testified yesterday that he came forward in 2002 because he now has children. "I don't know what I would do if anything happened to them," he said. "I wanted to get him off the street and put him where he belongs."

Rev. Teczar was arraigned on the charges in 2003 in Texas and has been free on $30,000 bail.

He was arrested in Dudley in December 2002 on a warrant alleging he was a fugitive from justice and was arrested again in March 2003 on a governor's warrant. Rev. Teczar has denied he fled Texas to avoid prosecution, and he returned on his own to Texas for the arraignment. He has also denied that he abused the boy, who is identified as John Doe II.

"John Doe II" settled a civil suit against the Fort Worth, Texas, and Worcester dioceses several months ago for $2.75 million, although Worcester did not contribute to the settlement.

Rev. Teczar, who was ordained as a priest of the Worcester Diocese in 1967, was barred from ministry in the 1980s by the late Bishop Timothy J. Harrington, but he has not been defrocked.

Material from the Telegram & Gazette was used in this report.


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