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Priest Accused of Rape in N.Y. Is Held in Texas

June 22, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — A Roman Catholic priest was arrested Friday in Texas on charges of raping a woman two years ago while working in the Brooklyn Diocese.

Cyriacus Udegbulem, 39, a visiting priest from Nigeria, was on a list of about 35 priests the Brooklyn Diocese gave prosecutors this year because they had been accused of sexual misconduct.

Udegbulem was arrested in Laredo, Texas, where he was living. The bishop of Laredo, James Tamayo, issued a statement saying Udegbulem had worked at the church's health center from March 2000 to August last year, but that he was not employed as a priest in the Diocese of Laredo.

Udegbulem formerly worked in a parish in the Brooklyn Diocese. The alleged victim said the priest raped and sodomized her during a meeting in 2000, Dist. Atty. Charles Hynes said.

The priest admitted to the diocese that he engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior, but the woman said she did not want to report the assault, diocese spokesman Frank DeRosa said.

The diocese immediately revoked Udegbulem's authority to perform priest duties there, and he left a few days later, DeRosa said.

It wasn't immediately known if Udegbulem had an attorney.

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