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Ex-Priest Denied Bail, Accused of Sex Abuse

Jul 28, 2003 | Arizona Republic

Luck ran out Monday for a former Phoenix priest when a Yavapai County judge denied him bail on sex abuse charges, agreeing with prosecutors that he was dangerous.

Judge Thomas Lindberg also set a 1:30 p.m., Aug. 18 case management conference for Lawrence Joseph Lovell, 55.

Although his trial will be in Prescott, Lovell will be prosecuted by Maricopa County, which has taken the lead in the pries sex-abuse scandal in the Phoenix Diocese. Prescott is part of the Phoenix Diocese.

Lovell's arraignment Monday was triggered by a May indictment that charged Lovell in connection with four child sex-abuse counts in Yavapai County between Oct. 1, 1978 and Sept. 1, 1979.

Before the indictment, Lovell was in a Los Angeles County jail, where he was booked on suspicion of having sex with four young victims in San Gabriel, Calif. 20 years ago.

Arizona authorities sent an arrest warrant to Los Angeles on the Yavapai County case, but it went awry and Lovell was mistakenly released in June.

He resurfaced in California in July to answer the San Gabriel charges, but walked out of jail again after a U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled the statute of limitations had expired.

He turned himself into Prescott authorities last week.

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