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Nevada Priest Waives Abuse Hearing

Jun 26, 2002 | AP

A Catholic priest accused of fondling and photographing teen-age boys in his parish waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday, prompting a judge to move the case to state court for trial.

The Rev. Mark Roberts and his lawyer, George Foley Sr., declined comment after leaving the courthouse. Waiving the hearing prevented a public airing of evidence against the 51-year-old priest.

He faces two felony charges of using boys to produce pornographic photos, plus misdemeanor charges of child abuse and open and gross lewdness. The felonies carry a possible sentence of five years each.

The case was scheduled for July 16 before Clark County District Court Judge Donald Mosley.

Roberts has been free on $13,000 bail, but has spent months at facilities outside Nevada for treatment of an undisclosed medical condition.

He was removed in January from St. Peter the Apostle Church and suspended with pay by the Diocese of Las Vegas after several boys alleged he molested them.

The criminal complaint, filed April 22, is based on allegations by five teenagers, now ages 17 to 19.

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