Catholic Priest in Fort Worth Diocese Convicted of Child Sex Abuse

By Brooks Egerton
The Dallas Morning News
March 27, 2009

A Catholic priest was convicted Thursday in a retrial on sex-abuse charges in Eastland County, about 100 miles west of Fort Worth.

The sentencing hearing for the Rev. Thomas Teczar will continue today.

Jurors took about 50 minutes to decide that Teczar molested and sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy in 1990. The Fort Worth Catholic Diocese had assigned him to work in rural Eastland County, largely unsupervised, despite his long history of sexual misconduct in the Diocese of Worcester, Mass.

An appeals court overturned Teczar's 2007 conviction because of expert-witness qualification issues and testimony about abuse for which he was not criminally charged.

The Fort Worth diocese has paid about $6 million in civil settlements to six of Teczar's Texas victims. They were represented in those cases by Dallas lawyer Tahira Khan Merritt, who also assisted prosecutors in Eastland County.

Other victims have received settlements in Massachusetts.

A petition to remove Teczar from the priesthood is pending at the Vatican.



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