Update: Friar Faces More Charges of Sex Abuse of Teens

By Dale White
The Herald-Tribune
February 3, 2011

[2007 criminal complaint]

A Catholic friar accused of having a sexual relationship with a teenage boy is being held in jail on additional charges.

Detectives arrested William C. Wert, 53, this week on two counts of committing a sex offense on a victim between 12 and 15. On Wednesday afternoon, a judge refused to set bail on those two counts.

Authorities have also filed eight more charges against Wert: five more counts of sex offenses against a minor and three counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim between 12 and 16. Bail for each of those eight counts is $10,000.

The jail booking staff said this morning that, even if Wert came up with $80,000 for bail for most of the counts, he cannot be released because of the two charges for which no bail was set.

Weir is a friar with the Order of Carmelites and has been living in a retirement home the religious order owns in Venice while on leave of absence. In 2007, he was convicted in Washington, D.C., of simple assault after being accused of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old and put on probation.


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