DIOCESE LET PERVY PRIEST GET AWAY: DA
Sullivan County District Attorney Stephen F. Lungen says the Archdiocese of New York deliberately made it difficult for his office to track down an accused pedophile priest who fled to Canada to avoid prosecution. Lungen said yesterday the recent sex scandal rekindled memories of a case from 1991, when the late John Cardinal O'Connor headed the Archdiocese of New York. The case involved Rev. Juan Bazalar, then 43, who was charged with sodomizing a 14 year old altar boy in upstate Monticello, fled while on bail. The priest was busted by Canadian police just as he planned to return to his native Peru. He was extradited, convicted and sentenced to 5 to 15 years before an appeals court ordered a retrial. He was found innocent in 1995 because the prosecution's key witness, another priest, died.
The Rev. Romano Ferraro, a 67 year old Queens priest accused of raping a boy in Massachusetts 20 years ago, was transported back to Cambridge to face charges there. He was turned over to Massachusetts authorities in Queens Criminal Court yesterday.
The Rev. Don A. Rooney, a 48 year old Catholic priest in Cleveland, shot and killed himself just days after being accused of molesting a girl two decades ago. He was found slumped over the wheel of his car in a pharmacy parking lot in a Cleveland suburb.