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Former Priest Arrested in San Marcos on Sexual Abuse Warrant

Mar 28, 2003 | AP A former Catholic priest being held at Hays County Jail is set to be extradited to Florida on a warrant accusing him of sexually abusing two 11-year-old boys in the late 1970s, authorities said Thursday.

Gerard Russell Appleby, 68, was arrested Tuesday in San Marcos, where he has lived since the early 1990s, said Sgt. Allen Bridges of the Hays County Sheriff's Office. Deputies were executing a Florida warrant for two counts of capital sexual battery, Bridges said.

Two 34-year-old men filed reports in May 2002 accusing Appleby of sexually abusing them in 1978 or 1979, said Detective Tim Goodman with the Pinellas County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office.

At the time of the alleged incidents, Appleby was a priest at St. Ignatious of Antioch Catholic Church in Tarpon Springs, on Florida's west central coast, Goodman said. But Goodman said he did not know if the two boys had attended the church.

Appleby had been interviewed by investigators after the reports were filed, Goodman said.

Appleby waived his right to contest his extradition to Florida on Thursday, Bridges said.

Goodman declined to say when Appleby would be extradited.

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