Fugitive priest in US after arrest in Africa

Fugitive priest in US after arrest in Africa

Fugitive priest in US after arrest in Africa

Arthur Perrault in a file photo. (Credit: File photo.)

The FBI says a fugitive priest accused of child abuse decades ago in New Mexico was taken into custody by U.S. agents in Morocco.

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — The FBI says a fugitive priest accused of child abuse decades ago in New Mexico was taken into custody by U.S. agents in Morocco.

FBI Special Agent in Charge James Langenberg said Friday in Albuquerque that two agents flew to Morocco and took custody of 80-year-old Arthur Perrault on Thursday.

Officials say Perrault had been held by Moroccan authorities for about a year after the FBI determined he was in that country. He was later transferred to U.S. custody.

An arrest warrant filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque says Perrault was formally arrested in New York within hours after his return to the U.S.

He is facing charges of criminal aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact in incidents that federal authorities say happened at Kirtland Air Force Base and Santa Fe National Cemetery. It was unclear if he has a lawyer.

Perrault had been a chaplain at the base in Albuquerque.

He vanished in 1992, just days before an attorney filed two lawsuits against the archdiocese alleging Perrault had sexually assaulted seven children at his parish.

Perrault turned up last year in Morocco, working at an English-language school for children, where he was subsequently fired.

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