Fla. Priest Pleads No Contest in Sex Abuse Case
January 15, 2013
A retired Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing dozens of boys for decades pleaded no contest under a plea agreement in a Fort Lauderdale courtroom Monday.
A graying Father Neil Doherty appeared frail as he entered a plea reducing sex abuse charges from a capital felony to a second-degree felony, which could require him to serve up to 15 years in prison and register as a sex offender.
The plea comes after several other alleged victims came forward and were planning to testify in the case.
"It just came time for the case to be concluded," Doherty's attorney David Bogenschutz said.
Attorneys for the victims said Doherty befriended troubled young boys for years, plied them with drugs and alcohol and paid them to run errands and do odd jobs. But the relationships often turned to sexual acts.