Extradited Priest Back in Jail
Mowat Linked to Molestation in England

By Celia Sibley
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 30, 1997

Anton Mowat, a former Roman Catholic priest who in 1990 pleaded guilty to molesting four altar boys at a Stone Mountain rectory, is back in the DeKalb County Jail, extradited from England for allegedly breaking his probation by molesting a boy there.

It is the fourth trip across the Atlantic for Mowat since the sexual molestation case broke in the late 1980s at Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

Mowat, 54, was a fugitive in Europe for 21 months following the original felony charges. Prosecutors accused the church of helping hide Mowat. A church attorney later said church officials knew of Mowat's whereabouts but decided his counseling in Italy for pedophilia was preferable to returning him to DeKalb County to stand trial. Extradited to DeKalb County in 1990, he pleaded guilty to felony child molestation charges and was sentenced to six years in prison and nine y years of probation.

After serving nearly two years in the Georgia state prison system, he was sent back to England, forbidden to return until his probation e expired.

Under the terms of his probation, he agreed to have no unsupervised contact with children younger than 18 and to enter a sex offender treatment program.

DeKalb prosecutors said he did not adhere to the order and did not let his probation officer know where he lived or worked.

He used an alias in England, Father Paul Francis Scott, to avoid being tracked, according to DeKalb prosecutors.

In March 1996, Superior Court Judge Michael Hancock signed a warrant for Mowat's arrest after being presented with evidence that in late 1994 Mowat picked up an 11-year-old English boy in a park. He is accused of taking the English youth to a friend's apartment in England and touching him inappropriately. The two then began exchanging letters and audiotapes.

The letters to the English boy were sent from the same Italian monastery where Mowat lived when he was a fugitive in the late 1980s, said DeKalb District Attorney J. Tom Morgan.

Mowat arrived back in DeKalb County late Friday, and, if he is found to have violated his probation, could be required to remain in prison until Jan. 24, 2005, Morgan said.

Mowat arrived at Corpus Christi in September 1985 as a visiting priest, a month after the Rev. Stanley Idziak was transferred. Idziak later was accused of sexually assaulting two other youths at Corpus Christi and sent to a church treatment facility out of state.

During Mowat's second extradition, church officials were cooperative with law enforcement authorities, Morgan said.

Mowat was captured the first time only after Scotland Yard spotted him visiting in England, Morgan said. This time was as different as "sunshine and darkness," said the prosecutor.

"We would never have known how to find him or that he violated his probation without the help of the Catholic Church," Morgan said. "This time, the Catholic Church tracked him down for us and encouraged the victims to come over here so we can have a hearing. They have helped tremendously. It's certainly a change in attitude since we first prosecuted this case."

Mowat's probation hearing will be in late August, Morgan said.

DeKalb public defender Larry Schneider, who previously represented Mowat, said Mowat might hire a private attorney to represent him in the current proceedings.


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