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Former priest who lived in Alameda facing extradition on child sex assault charges

Submitted by on 1, August 11, 2010 – 3:49 pmOne Comment

A former Catholic priest who apparently lived in Alameda for more than a decade is in jail awaiting extradition to his native Ireland on charges he sexually assaulted six boys.

Patrick Joseph McCabe, 74, is accused of nine counts of indecent assault and a tenth count, of attempted indecent assault, following alleged attacks on six boys between 1973 and 1981, while McCabe served as a priest in the Dublin, Ireland archdiocese. The boys were between the ages of 10 and 14 when the attacks allegedly occurred and they came forward to report them as adults.

The men said the alleged assaults took place at a school where McCabe offered religious instruction, at a nearby parochial house, in McCabe’s car outside a dormitory where another alleged victim was attending school, and in McCabe’s home.

McCabe’s attorney, David Cohen, is seeking to have McCabe released on bail, saying he is in fragile health. A woman described as McCabe’s friend and partner has offered to post his bond if a federal judge allows him to be released. Neither Cohen nor McCabe’s friend could immediately be reached for comment.

McCabe, who most recently lived on Walnut Street, turned himself in to authorities on July 30 and was placed on house arrest before being sent to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on August 4.

Alameda Police Sgt. Kevin McNiff – who said McCabe admitted to two of the alleged assaults and that he appeared to be relieved at the opportunity to tell his side of the story – said police investigated McCabe “quite extensively” but didn’t find any indication he had committed any criminal offenses in Alameda or anywhere else in the U.S.

The church sent McCabe to the United States in 1983 to work as a priest in Sonoma County, McNiff said, in a parish where he didn’t have contact with children. Prosecutors said McCabe admitted he was forced to leave the priesthood in 1988 after he was accused of child sexual abuse. They said Irish police submitted allegations against him at that time, but prosecutors declined to press a case because McCabe was out of the country and unavailable for a police interview.

It was not clear when McCabe moved to Alameda, though his attorney wrote that he had lived here for more than a decade before turning himself in to authorities.

Prosecutors said McCabe’s location was unknown to authorities until 2003, when Interpol found him living in an apartment on Shore Point Court. They said McCabe refused to be interviewed by Irish police at that time, but that he consented to be interviewed when they renewed their request four years later.

Irish police came to Alameda to talk to McCabe in November 2007. Other alleged victims came forward in the years that followed, and an Irish court issued arrest warrants in October 2009 and April and May 2010.

McNiff said Interpol called him in September 2007 to find out if McCabe still lived in Alameda, and McNiff said he and a detective found McCabe working at the Waters Edge senior community on Island Drive. An employee at the assisted living facility, where McCabe helped organize events and trips for at least nine years, said he was shocked to hear the allegations against McCabe.

“It’s something that we’re obviously shocked to hear. It was a surprise to everyone,” the employee, who did not want to be named, said. “After hearing these allegations, I’m speechless.”

McNiff said McCabe wanted the chance to tell his side of the story. He said McCabe admitted to being attracted to young boys, and prosecutors wrote that he admitted a “fetish” for boys in formal shirt and tie. McCabe told police he had been treated for his fetishes at therapy centers in England and the U.S., court documents show.

“He said, ‘Kevin, the Catholic Church treated me for a cold when I had pneumonia,'” McNiff said, referring to the Catholic Church’s treatment of McCabe and of the allegations against him.

McNiff said McCabe admitted to two of the assaults; prosecutors said McCabe offered a “quasi admission” to one of the alleged assaults but denied committing others.

One Comment »

  • Dawna says:

    What a relief to hear a Priest (former or not) admit to child sex assualt charges. It’s still shameful that the church allows this to continue (this happened almost 30 years ago) to happen while moving them from place to place.

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