Aurora Priest Held on California Sex-Abuse Charges

By Bradley Keoun and Jennifer Peltz
Chicago Tribune
October 10, 1999

A Catholic priest in Aurora has been arrested on charges that he sexually assaulted several children in California during the mid-1980s.

Edward Lawrence Ball, 60, one of 12 priests living at the Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart's U.S. headquarters, was arrested by Aurora police on Friday and charged with 26 counts of sexual assault that occurred in San Bernardino County, Calif., more than a decade ago, authorities said. Aurora police said they don't suspect Ball of any crimes locally.

Ball was being held Saturday at the Kane County jail on a $1 million bond, police said. San Bernardino authorities are seeking extradition to California.

Ball is a registered sex offender, according to a Kane County Sheriff's Department Web site. His registration was required by a separate conviction in California in the early 1990s, his lawyer said.

A deputy with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said a warrant was issued Friday for Ball's arrest stemming from alleged incidents with boys and girls between 1982 and 1988.

Deputy Tony Hernandez said the charges were made possible by the elimination of California's six-year time limit on filing sexual assault charges earlier this year.

"Because of the statute (of limitations), charges were not able to be filed," Hernandez said. "We had everything compiled, and when the law changed, we thought ... 'We've got a good case.' " Rev. David Foxen, provincial superior of Ball's order, said Ball has been a priest for more than 30 years. He was a parish priest in San Bernardino in 1992 when he was charged with sexual offenses, Foxen said. Ball was convicted, but details were not available.

Ball was placed on probation and attended an eight-month rehabilitation program at an institute in Silver Spring, Md., Foxen said.

Ball's attorney, David Camic, said the six-year time limit should apply to the current charges, adding that Ball will not waive his right to an extradition hearing.


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