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Alleged Molester Charged in Plot Against Former Altar Boys

March 25, 1994

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ A former church usher was arrested for allegedly plotting to kill two men who have accused him of molesting them decades ago, when they were altar boys.

Police said that Steven Jeremiah Crowley, 49, paid an informant $750 for a 9mm gun and silencer and that he told the informant he ″wanted to kill three people who had the potential to expose him as a child molester.″

His third alleged target was the therapist for one of the men.

Crowley, an insurance executive, was arrested Wednesday for investigation of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and freed on $100,000 bail. Contacted at home, he denied the conspiracy allegations and refused further comment.

Crowley was relieved of his duties at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Madeleine in August.

Four men have accused Crowley of molesting them, and ″there is a fear that there could be many, many more,″ Monsignor Francis Mannion said.

Sgt. Ed Lyman said Crowley can’t be charged with molestation because the alleged crimes took place too long ago.

In the 1970s, Crowley was relieved of his duties when molestation allegations arose, but he returned to the volunteer post a couple of months later. The monsignor said he did not know why Crowley was allowed back.

A priest handled the allegations, parents were told, and it was decided that no criminal or civil action would be taken, Mannion said.

″People handled matters very, very differently back in the late ’70s and early ’80s,″ he said.

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