New abuse claim filed on dead priest

Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) Another man has come forward alleging sexual abuse by the Rev. Jules Convert, a French-born Jesuit priest who ministered in villages along the Yukon River from 1942-80.

The Rev. Richard Case, chancellor of the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese, said the man contacted the chancery about two weeks ago and said he had been abused by Convert from 1955 to 1960.

Last month a lawsuit was filed in Bethel by four unnamed men who said they were molested as altar boys in the 1970s by Convert when he was pastor of the Church of the Nativity at St. Marys.

Case, the victim assistance coordinator for the diocese, declined to divulge the community where the latest abuse was reported to protect the man's identity. Case said the man was offered counseling but declined.

Convert also ministered to Chevak, Old Chevak, St. Michael, Stebbins, Kaltag, Hooper Bay and Unalakleet. He returned to France in 1980.

''To the best of my knowledge, (Convert) was transferred because of health problems, not because of any other problems,'' Case said.

Convert died in 1995 at Francheville, Lyons, at age 85.

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