Second ‘Runaway Priest’ found by Dallas News sent back to Australia to face sex-abuse charges
Another priest from our landmark 2004-2005 series on the Catholic Church’s international transfers of sex abusers has been arrested.
Australian authorities charged the Rev. Julian Fox, pictured, after he returned from his religious order’s headquarters in Rome. He faces 10 counts of sexually and physically abusing boys at a Melbourne-area boarding school, according to press reports.
In our series, I reported that Fox was moved to Fiji after an abuse complaint in the late 1990s was made to his order, the Salesians of Don Bosco. The Salesians also paid his accuser a settlement, officials acknowledged to me.
When I talked to Fox by phone in 2004, he said a church review had exonerated him. He declined to further discuss the allegations.
“That’s in the past,” he said. “I’m not keen to be trolling through all of that again.”
Fox was also the Salesians’ South Pacific leader during the 1990s. In that role, he received allegations that the Rev. Frank Klep had previously abused boys. As you may recall, Klep is the fugitive priest we found on another Pacific island, Samoa, handing out candy to children at a church.
Fox told me that he had investigated the Klep complaint. But he couldn’t remember what he had found because the case was “history under a bridge,” he said.
The recent interest in Fox is two-fold:
First, an Australian government inquiry spawned a widening criminal investigation that has produced multiple arrests. Second, a leading investigative news program there, Four Corners, examined the Fox case last year.