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Ill. Priest Arrested in Sex Case

February 19, 2000

RACINE, Wis. (AP) _ A priest has been arrested for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with an investigator posing as a minor over the Internet.

The Rev. John M. Furdek, 47, of Villa Park, Ill., faces multiple charges, including attempted second-degree sexual assault, child enticement, and possession of marijuana. He was arrested Thursday.

Furdek, pastor of St. Alexander’s Catholic Church in Villa Park, was jailed on a $60,600 bond. A preliminary hearing was scheduled Feb. 28.

Computer messages exchanged between Furdek and a state investigator posing as a 14-year-old boy indicated the priest wanted to have sex with the child and traveled to Racine for that purpose, the complaint said.

A computer and videotapes were confiscated from his home on parish property Friday. Racine County sheriff’s deputies also found steroids and less than five grams of marijuana in his car.

Defense attorney Sean Brown successfully argued that his client did not intend to give the marijuana found in his car to ``the boy,″ and a charge of marijuana with the intent to deliver was scaled down to marijuana possession.

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