Military Reviews Transfer of Chaplain to Patrick
Raux Involved in Scandal, Settlement

By J.D. Gallop
Florida Today
December 18, 2002

Patrick Air Force Base — The decision to transfer a 47-year-old Catholic chaplain named in a sex scandal and monetary settlement in Boston to Patrick Air Force Base is being reviewed by military authorities, officials said Tuesday.

The Rev. Redmond Raux, a member of the military diocese, was accused in 1993 of molesting a 12-year-old altar boy in 1987, according to court records.

He was never charged in the case, which at the time drew the attention of Cardinal Bernard Law. Law, the 71-year-old head of the Boston diocese, resigned Friday.

"Right now, everything is under review," said Lt. Elizabeth Kreft, a spokeswoman for Patrick Air Force Base said of Raux's transfer from F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. "He still may come and he might not."

Kreft said Raux was originally supposed to report around Feb. 20 for duty at the airbase as part of a small team of chaplains ministering to the base's Catholic community. Raux, reached at his residence in Wyoming, said he was not expected to report to Patrick "until after the new year."

Raux, who denied the allegations and said yesterday he was "devastated" by the teen's claims in court records, also refused to discuss the case.

"You can talk to my attorney," Raux said before disconnecting the call.

A call to his attorney's office was not returned.

It was not known what prompted the review, although Raux's name first surfaced publicly in the scandal after the release of thousands of court documents detailing incidents involving numerous priests and hundreds of alleged victims in the Boston area.

Records show that in 1993, Raux was accused of groping an altar boy from behind as he tied the boy's robe.

The teenager, who was 18 when he made his claims, also accused another priest of sexually abusing him.

The Boston Archdiocese signed a $200,000 settlement with the teen and his family in 1995.

Raux's case and others like it have led to a number of activists, attorneys and church laity to call for more stringent methods of investigating sex abuse claims made against priests.

Priests should answer to a more autonomous review board in addition to civil authorities, said Sheldon Stevens, a Merritt Island attorney who has handled several unrelated sex abuse claims made against priests locally and statewide.

"It's so difficult for a lot of these victims to go against the church, their friends and other parishioners," said Stevens, referring to his experience in representing young clients in at least 75 such cases.

The process should involve polygraphs, psychological profiles along with a thorough investigation, said Stevens, who eventually settled a lawsuit against the Orlando Diocese in 1986.

In that case, four altar boys accused Father William Authenrieth of molesting them.

As for Cardinal Law, Stevens believes a grand jury should determine precisely what he knew or whether he had any administrative complicity in dealing with the hundreds of alleged victims during the course of his tenure in Boston.

"Not that he should go to jail," Stevens said. "But from a moral standpoint, you are as guilty of causing abuse as the perpetrator."


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