ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing of a former New Mexico priest convicted of sex abuse case (all times local):
A former Roman Catholic priest who authorities say fled the country in the early 1990s as he faced sex abuse allegations in New Mexico has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after being returned to the U.S.
A judge sentenced 81-year-old Arthur Perrault on Friday in Santa Fe, saying it was the worst case of child sex abuse she had handled over the course of 26 years.
Prosecutors had requested a maximum of more than 30 years in prison for Perrault after several men testified that they had been abused by him as children.
Federal prosecutors are requesting a sentence of more than 30 years in prison for Arthur Perrault, once a pastor at an Albuquerque parish and a chaplain at Kirtland Air Force Base. The 81-year-old maintained his innocence throughout his trial in April.
A jury found him guilty of sexually abusing an altar boy at the base in Albuquerque and a veterans’ cemetery in Santa Fe. Both sites are within federal jurisdiction.
He vanished from New Mexico in 1992 as he faced accusations that he had sexually assaulted children. He was captured in Morocco and returned to the United States in 2017.