BEST OVER-DIDDLING OF A KIDDY-DIDDLER (2006)

Dale Fushek

To be honest, we're actually beginning to feel a little sorry for Father Dale. When New Times broke the story of the friar's alleged frivolity with naked young men, we went to great lengths to explain that the best evidence suggested Fushek only seemed to get really frisky once the young postulates were of legal age. Really, with the evidence at hand, Fushek seemed more guilty of grotesquely violating moral laws, but not criminal ones. Basically, he just got quite creepy, and way too naked, in the hot tub with young men to whom he was supposed to be a spiritual adviser, not some squirrelly 1970s love doctor. But now, the honchos over at the County Attorney's Office seem hell-bent on hanging Fushek as high as possible on some misdemeanor indecency charges. Indeed, we've never seen the county prosecutors publicize and pursue misdemeanor charges with such zeal. Let's make this really clear: The evidence uncovered by New Times suggests Fushek violated the immense amount of trust parents gave him to guide their children. And he seems to have deeply scarred several men with his behavior. The story speaks for itself. He simply is not the angel of the new church he was advertised as being. But perhaps it's time to move on. The church has suffered so much and has learned so much; the new bishop looks to be a good man, and the activities once condoned by priests like Dale Fushek are no longer tolerated. There are still wrongs to be righted, no doubt, but perhaps Father Dale, who truly has suffered much from the scandal, should now be allowed to move on. Just please, Bishop Olmsted, don't give the guy another hot tub. Yikes.