Ex-omaha Priest Held in Kansas

By Leia Mendoza
The World-Herald
September 5, 2010

A former Omaha priest accused of sexually abusing a minor in Texas was arrested Friday in Lawrence, Kan.

The Rev. John M. Fiala was charged earlier in the week in Edwards County, Texas, with three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of aggravated sexual assault by threat, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

Fiala, 51, is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy at gunpoint in a hotel room and during private catechism sessions two years ago, the newspaper said.

The abuse is alleged to have occurred in 2007 and 2008, when Fiala was serving at a parish in Rocksprings, Texas, which is in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Fiala was arrested by U.S. marshals. He is expected to be extradited to Texas for trial.

Fiala was ordained in 1984 by then-Omaha Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan. He ministered in the Omaha archdiocese until 1996, when he left to join the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in Texas.

He served at these parishes in the Archdiocese of Omaha from 1984 to 1995: St. Columbkille, Papillion; Sacred Heart, Norfolk; St. Joan of Arc, St. Peter and Christ the King, all Omaha; St. Mary, Spencer; and St. Joseph, Wisner.

The Archdiocese of Omaha has said Fiala was removed from ministry in the fall of 2008 and has not been reassigned.

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