A Texas Roman Catholic priest, already facing criminal charges and a civil lawsuit alleging that he sexually abused a teenage boy, now faces charges of attempting to hire someone to kill the 18-year-old college student, reports CNN. The Rev. John M. Fiala is booked in the Dallas County Jail and charged with criminal solicitation to commit capital murder and two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
He was arrested last week after he offered an undercover agent with the Texas Department of Public Safety $5,000 to kill the teen, according to department spokeswoman Lisa Block. ... The Department of Public Safety and its Texas Ranger Division got involved, sending the undercover agent to speak with Fiala, Rhodes said. The conversation was caught on video and audiotape. gunpoint, reports CNN.
The youth met Fiala in 2007. The attorney said the priest started "grooming him," buying him gifts including a computer and a car. In early 2008, when the boy was 16, under the guise of providing private catechism lessons, Fiala "gained access to him and began to sexually abuse him once or twice a month, including on church grounds," said [Tom Rhodes, the teen's attorney]. Fiala allegedly threatened to kill the youth if he told anyone -- threats he repeated in daily text messages, Rhodes said, and Fiala also threatened to kill himself, telling the teen they would "go to heaven together."
The teen, after struggling with the abuse, told a school counselor, who notified authorities, Rhodes said. He filed suit in April against Fiala, as well as the archdioceses of San Antonio, Texas, and Omaha, Nebraska—where Fiala was before Texas—and Fiala's religious order, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, the attorney said.
The 18-year-old "was attending college but had to withdraw" and go into hiding after learning the priest abuser was soliciting his murder.
The suit claims the San Antonio and Omaha archdioceses, as well as the religious order, covered up the abuse. After the priest was indicted in September, he fled to Kansas and was extradited to Texas.
The Rev. John M. Fiala has not been defrocked—yet. The Catholic Archdiocese of El Paso and San Antonio is probably too busy comparing gays to rapists and isn't sure how to respond to actual rapists in their own churches.