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Jesuit Priest Arrested For Alleged Sex Assault In Douglas County

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Rev. Richard James Kurtz (credit: Chicago Police Department)

Rev. Richard James Kurtz (credit: Chicago Police Department)

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) – A Jesuit priest in Chicago was arrested Monday on allegations that he sexually assaulted a minor 10 years ago in Colorado, the Douglas County sheriff’s office said.

The Rev. Richard James Kurtz, 67, was being held on $100,000 bond in Chicago on charges of sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust and attempted sexual assault, sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Ron Hanavan said.

Authorities allege that the 2001 assault happened in Douglas County, an area south of Denver that is home to both suburban communities and rural areas. At the time, Kurtz was working as a chemistry teacher at the University of Detroit High School in Detroit.

Hanavan said Kurtz and the alleged male victim, who was under 18, knew each other, but he couldn’t say where the victim was from or what they were doing in Colorado because the case is sealed. He said there’s no connection with any Colorado church.

The investigation began after the Society of Jesus Chicago-Detroit Province notified the office in June about the alleged assault, Hanavan said. An arrest warrant was issued Friday.

A woman who answered the phone at the province’s office in Chicago said both the group’s spokesman and leader were out of the office and not available to comment.

It’s not known where Kurtz was working at the time of his arrest.

The case has been turned over to prosecutors who will decide whether to charge Kurtz.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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