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Ex-priest faces jail for child molestation

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

A former priest from Northern Ireland faces up to four years behind bars when he is sentenced this week for molesting a teenage boy inside the public bathrooms of a popular New York beach.

Retired priest Fr. Andrew Millar pleaded guilty to third-degree sodomy charges three months ago and has been free on $15,000 bail, officials from the Nassau County district attorney’s office said.

The 69-year-old County Antrim man had been scheduled for sentencing in August, but his case was put back until Wednesday. Millar pleaded guilty after the family and prosecutors agreed on a plea bargain.

Millar was arrested on May 7 after he was caught molesting a 15-year-old boy with learning difficulties inside a public bathroom on Tobay Beach in Long Island, according to the Nassau County Police Department.

The victim, whose name was not released, had gone alone to use the bathroom and his father had become concerned when he took too long to return.

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The father found Millar inside the stall with his son and held the ex-priest while the police were called. Detectives said the incident was a crime of opportunity rather than a premeditated assault. Millar has no previous criminal record.

Millar’s attorney asked the judge to consider placing him in a supervised Catholic archdiocese facility rather than prison.

Ordained in Antrim in 1958, Millar moved to the United States in 1964. Archdiocese officials said Millar served nine parishes in Long Island’s Suffolk and Nassau counties and retired from service last year.

After his arrest, officials said Millar had been removed from the lodgings where he was staying and admitted to a supervised church facility for treatment.

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