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The Latest: US judge orders priest held on abuse charges

ALBUQUERQUE, N. M. – The Latest on a former New Mexico priest who fled the U.S. decades ago (all times are local):

12:40 pm

A federal judge has ordered that a priest who fled the U.S. decades ago, in the midst of allegations of sexual abuse of children to be held pending his trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen ruled Tuesday that Arthur Perrault was a flight risk, despite the arguments of his lawyer that he has no passport, no family and no means to leave the country.

Prosecutor Sean Sullivan suggested that the 80-year-old priest was a danger to the community.

Some people who say they are victims of Perrault’s attended the hearing and applauded and exchanged hugs after the verdict of the court.

Prosecutors say Perrault was a chaplain at a base in Albuquerque, where he is accused of the sexual abuse of children.

Court documents say that he disappeared in 1992, just a few days before a lawyer filed two lawsuits against the archdiocese alleged Perrault was sexually seven children in his parish. He was last year in Morocco.

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12:30 pm

Prosecutors say a former New Mexico priest who fled the U.S. decades ago, in the midst of allegations of sexual abuse of children enticed victims with gifts, and as soon as blamed his behaviour on a cancer diagnosis, he had not.

Arthur Perrault is scheduled on Tuesday to appear in the U. S. District Court in Albuquerque for a detention hearing as prosecutors try to keep the 80-year-old to his trial for aggravated sexual abuse.

Court documents filed in federal court say the victims described Perrault showering them with gifts and meals for the abuse of them.

Documents also said the Connecticut-born Perrault wrote an apology letter to the parents of a victim in 1971, and the guilt of his actions in the field of cancer, which the prosecutors say that he never had.

Perrault was extradited to New Mexico last week from Morocco.

He pleaded not guilty.

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