Phoenix The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was arrested Monday on charges he fondled boys and young men and asked them prying 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. All are misdemeanors, punishable by no more than three years and nine months in all.
At his initial court appearance, Fushek was placed under house arrest and ordered to wear an electronic ankle bracelet for monitoring. He also was ordered to surrender his passport and not have contact with anyone under age 18. Fushek's arraignment was set for Dec. 6.
Prosecutors said Fushek committed the acts between 1984 and 1994 at St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Mesa or on property belonging to the church. The alleged victims were seven young men and boys.