Priest wants to stay on bail as he fights extradition
Published 20/02/2010 | 05:00
A US-BASED Irish priest has launched a legal attempt to remain on bail while he fights extradition over an alleged rape.
Fr Francis Markey (82), now living in the US state of Indiana, has been accused of allegedly raping a 15-year-old boy in Ireland in 1968.
He has been battling attempts by the Director of Public Prosecutions to bring him back to Ireland to face charges.
Lawyers for Fr Markey, who is currently on bail, have been fighting his extradition for the past 18 months.
In written briefs filed in court this week, lawyers for the priest argue he should remain free on bail while he files more motions fighting the extradition.
The assistant US attorney for northern Indiana, Kenneth Hays, pointed to case and statutory law which, he says, requires Fr Markey to be jailed once the court certifies extradition.
Judge Christopher Nuechterlein has accepted that evidence of a crime -- based on the alleged victim's claims -- may be "weak". However, he said it was up to the Irish courts to argue it and that the retired priest must face the charges.
Fr Markey was arrested in November at his Indiana home in connection with the alleged rape. The priest, formerly based in Monaghan, is accused of raping the child twice in 1968.
The 57-year-old man complained to gardai in June 2006 after reading the Ferns report.
This week, a US sex abuse survivors' group called on US citizens with allegations against Fr Markey to come forward.
The group, Members of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, have called on Bishop Kevin Rhoades in South Bend, Indiana, to reach out to any US citizens who allege they have been molested by Fr Markey.
The group hand-delivered a letter to the building where Bishop Rhoades is based.
"We believe you have an obligation to alert others -- both parishioners and the public -- about these criminal charges, and aggressively prod people to call the police if they have seen, suspected or suffered any crimes by him," the letter seen by the 'South Bend Tribune' newspaper stated.