Accused priest extradited from Philippines pleads not guilty
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest accused of molesting two boys in North Dakota in the 1990s has pleaded not guilty.
Fernando Sayasaya was recently returned to the United States from the Philippines, where he had been since 1998. He entered his pleas Thursday to two counts of felony gross sexual imposition.
Prosecutors allege that Sayasaya abused two underage siblings from 1995 to 1998, while he was assigned to the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and St. Mary’s Cathedral in the Fargo area.
A Philippines court ordered his extradition in 2010. He appealed, lost and was ultimately arrested in November. He remains jailed on $5 million bond. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.