Priest Given Prison Term For Fondling

By Angie Brunkow
Omaha World Herald
January 19, 1999

A priest convicted of fondling an altar boy was ordered to serve 20 months to 5 years in prison for that crime and probation for making pornographic videos of young boys.

With good time, Daniel Herek could be eligible for parole in 10 months.

Judge Stephen A. Davis sentenced Herek after a brief hearing in Douglas County District Court. The 53-year-old priest was convicted in August of sexual assault on a child and of manufacturing child pornography. He faced a maximum possible sentence of 25 years in prison.

He received 20 months to 5 years on the assault charge and 5 years' probation on the pornography charge, with the sentences to be served one after the other.

Authorities say Herek assaulted a 14-year-old boy from the St. Richard Catholic Church, 4320 Fort St., where Herek served as pastor for five years.

He also made a videotape and took two photographs of naked boys that were found by a cleaning woman in the St. Richard rectory in May 1997. Her discovery prompted the police investigation.

A civil lawsuit is pending against both Herek and the archdiocese. The 14-year-old altar boy, now an adult, filed the lawsuit after Herek's conviction. He alleges that the church was negligent because officials knew Herek had "dangerous pedophile traits" but did not keep him away from young boys.

After his conviction, the archdiocese announced that he would no longer be able to work as a priest. The move stopped short of formally removing him from the priesthood.


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