PHOENIX -- The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was arrested yesterday on charges that he fondled boys and young men and asked them questions about their sex lives that he pretended were part of confession.
Monsignor Dale Fushek, 53, becomes one of the highest-ranking priests to be charged in the sex scandal that has engulfed the church. The vicar general is the highest-ranking administrator of a diocese next to the bishop.
Fushek was charged with three counts of assault, five of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and two of indecent exposure. At his initial court appearance, Fushek was placed under house arrest and ordered to wear an electronic ankle bracelet for monitoring. He was also ordered to surrender his passport and not have contact with anyone under age 18. His arraignment was set for Dec. 6.
Fushek ''used a relationship of trust to perform criminal acts, including but not limited to sexual activities, improper sexual discussions and physical contact, upon vulnerable minor and adult victims," prosecutors said in court papers. They said Fushek committed the acts between 1984 and 1994. The alleged victims were seven young men and boys.
Fushek resigned as pastor of St. Timothy's in April.