Monday, May 21, 2012

Former U.S. Roman Catholic priest sentenced to 60 years in prison for hiring a hit man to kill teenage boy who accused him of sexual assault

As reported by Melissa Cutler of Fox News, May 18, 2012:

DALLAS -

A former Catholic priest convicted in a murder-for-hire plot was sentenced to 60 years in prison late Friday afternoon.

John Fiala was convicted for trying to hire someone to kill a 16-year-old who accused him of sexual assault. The 53-year-old Garland resident was once a priest in the San Antonio area.

Prosecutors said he discussed the plot with a neighbor who turned him in. Then police set up an undercover sting operation where Fiala offered to pay a hit man $5,000.

Fiala's attorneys tried to argue that a neighbor was the one who hatched the scheme. But Fiala testified his neighbor had no motive.

While the sentence fell short of a life sentence, prosecutors are still calling it a victory.

Fiala also still faces the original sex abuse charges. The teenage victim accused him of sexually assaulting him at gunpoint in 2008.
For more detailed reporting on this incident, see The church and the priest by Abe Levy in the San Antonio Express-News on February 23, 2011 and Father John Fiala: Did This Priest Hire a Hit Man? by Alex Tresniowski in People, February 28, 2011.

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