Dupage Priest Charged in Internet Sex Sting

By Jeff Coen
Chicago Tribune
February 19, 2000

The pastor of St. Alexander Catholic Church in Villa Park has been arrested in Wisconsin and accused of using the Internet to set up a sexual rendezvous with someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy, authorities said Friday.

Rev. John M. Furdek, 47, was taken into custody Thursday in the parking lot of a Racine, Wis., McDonald's, investigators said. Agents from the Wisconsin Department of Justice were waiting for Furdek after he allegedly set up a meeting with a chat-room acquaintance who turned out to be an undercover detective.

Furdek appeared in court in Racine Friday on charges of child enticement and possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver it to a minor. He was ordered held on $60,600 bond and is to appear in court again later this month.

Wisconsin authorities said Furdek's relationship with the phantom teen began about a month ago.

"It progressed over time, but there was a fair amount of explicit conversation taking place over a period of several weeks," said Jim Haney, spokesman for the Wisconsin attorney general.

Investigators alleged that Furdek promised to bring the "boy" anabolic steroids when they met. When he was arrested, Furdek allegedly was carrying steroids and a small amount of marijuana.

The priest, who has been an associate pastor at churches in Naperville and Addison, has no known criminal record in DuPage County.

Officials at Furdek's Villa Park church declined to comment on the situation Friday.

In an unrelated case, a Chicago priest appeared in court Friday, accused of fondling an adult seminary student. An attorney for Rev. Domingo Hurtado-Badillo, 38, received a postponement in the case until March. Hurtado-Badillo, who is on temporary leave from his duties as pastor of St. Mark's Parish on the West Side, allegedly caressed a 21-year-old seminarian on Oct. 30. The 21-year-old complained to police late last month. Hurtado-Badillo's attorney had no comment.

Hurtado-Badillo was convicted of indecent exposure in November 1998.

Tribune staff writer Raoul Mowatt contributed to this report.


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