Life Teen founder and excommunicated priest Dale Fushek set to stand trial

 After 4 years… Misdemeanor sex crimes.

PRIEST ARRESTED 

From The Arizona Republic

After nearly four years of delays and appeals, a Chandler justice of the peace set a new date for the trial of an excommunicated Roman Catholic priest charged with misdemeanor sex crimes.

San Tan Justice of the Peace Sam Goodman scheduled a hearing on motions for Jan. 7 and the trial of former Monsignor Dale Fushek for Feb. 19.

Fushek, once the second-highest ranking priest in the Diocese of Phoenix, would stand trial on one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Previous court rulings established that Fushek is entitled to a jury trial because his potential punishment includes registration as a sex offender.

Fushek originally was charged in December 2005 with the series of misdemeanor sex crimes dating from 1983 to 1994, when he was pastor of St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in Mesa, where he also founded the Life Teen youth ministry.

The case was sent back to Goodman after the Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Court of Appeals declined to hear appeals filed by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office of a Superior Court ruling.

The Superior Court ruling upheld Goodman’s decision to order five separate trials on five contributing to the delinquency of a minor charges. Fushek also is accused of indecent exposure.

Fushek was suspended by the Diocese after he was accused of wrongdoing in a civil suit. He was excommunicated when he defied an order not to participate in any public church services by preaching at the Praise and Worship Center in Mesa, set up by a group of his ex-parishioners.

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