March 29, 1998 in Nation/World

Former Priest Is Found Guilty Of Sexually Abusing 3 Altar Boys

Associated Press
 

A former priest was convicted Saturday of sexually abusing three altar boys in a case that already had produced the nation’s largest civil judgment for clergy sex-abuse allegations.

Jurors deliberated 7-1/2 hours over two days before finding Rudolph Kos, 52, guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual assault and one of indecency with a child.

Kos was acquitted of one indecency count. At the beginning of the trial earlier in the week, he pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child.

According to testimony during an 11-week civil trial last summer, Kos sexually abused boys from 1981 to 1992 at churches in Dallas, Ennis and Irving. That trial led to a record $119.6 million judgment against Kos and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.

The charges involved four former altar boys who said they were molested a total of about 1,350 times.

The victims and their families greeted the verdicts with smiles and hugs.

“We spent a lot of time on this case, and we talked to a lot of other victims. You can’t imagine the courage it has taken each and every one of them,” said Richard Pawlik, father of victim Michael Pawlik, 18, who agreed to be identified.

“He should be put away for life,” Richard Pawlik said of Kos.

Kos had no visible reaction when the verdicts were read.

His attorney, Brad Lollar, said he and his client were not surprised by the verdict and were prepared for the sentencing phase, set to begin Monday.

“Certainly, you’ll be hearing something about his remorse in the punishment phase,” Lollar said.

Kos did not testify in either the criminal or the civil trial against him.

The aggravated sexual assault convictions are punishable by up to life in prison; the indecency counts and sexual assault of a child counts are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

“The events related to this case have been difficult and painful for our church,” diocesan spokeswoman Lisa LeMaster said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.”

© Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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