ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—A former New Mexico priest, who fled the U.S. decades ago amid allegations of child sex abuse and once blamed his behaviour on a cancer diagnosis which prosecutors say he didn’t have, is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.
Arthur Perrault is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque for a detention hearing as prosecutors seek to hold the 80-year-old priest until his trial for aggravated sexual abuse.
Court documents filed in federal court said victims described Perrault showering them with gifts and meals before abusing them. Victims also collaboratively described Perrault as someone who smoked pipes and wore silk underwear.
Documents also said the Connecticut-born Perrault wrote an apology letter to the parents of one victim in 1971 and blamed his actions on cancer, which prosecutors said he was never diagnosed with.
Perrault was extradited to New Mexico last week from Morocco in connection with sexual abuse cases that are alleged to have taken place between 1991 and 1992 at Kirtland Air Force Base and Santa Fe National Cemetery.
The former Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and a former Air Force chaplain has been charged in a federal indictment with seven counts of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact.