Category: Archive

Sligo priest wanted in Arizona

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The county attorney served an indictment on May 28, 2003, charging Colleary with two counts of sexual conduct with a minor, a Class 2 felony, and attempted sexual conduct with a minor, a Class 3 felony.
Colleary, aged 53, is believed to be living in County Sligo in Ireland, with his brother Aidan Colleary.
The plaintiff in the case, Paul Liano, first called the Maricopa County attorney’s office in December 2002.
Liano was asked if he was a victim of sexual abuse and he stated that he would need to speak with his therapist before he went any further.
On Jan. 1, 2003, Liano agreed to be interviewed. During this interview he talked about being an altar boy and how his family life revolved around Holy Spirit Church, where Colleary worked as a priest.
He described the incidents, which have led to the counts of assault being leveled against Colleary and alleged that the events occurred in 1978, when he was 10 years old. There have been other allegations of abuse leveled at the priest and in December 2002 he was indicted on charges, only to be released in January because the statute of limitations had run out.
Colleary traveled to Ireland after the previous charges were dropped. A warrant for his arrest on new charges has been issued and extradition will likely be sought if he does not return voluntarily.
In May 2002, the priest was placed on administrative leave after he admitted to fathering a child in 1978.

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