Former priest to be extradited to Texas to face sex-abuse charges

A former Catholic priest wanted on sex crime charges in Texas waived his right to fight extradition Tuesday morning in Douglas County District Court.

John M. Fiala, 51, told District Judge Peggy Kittel he wanted to speed up the process.

“I’d be willing to sign the papers to get the process moving forward,” Fiala said.

Fiala is wanted by authorities in Edwards County, Texas, on four counts of sex crimes against children, according to the U.S. Marshal’s Office. Federal and local authorities arrested him more than a week ago in the 800 block of East 11th Street.

Fiala was removed from the priesthood in 2008 after the allegations in Texas surfaced.

According to news reports, Fiala had several priest assignments, including in Shawnee in 2001 followed by several months in Holton. He also worked as spiritual director from 1998 to 2001 at a religious order that had a house in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo. No reports have detailed any sexual abuse allegations against Fiala while he was in Kansas or Missouri.

During an earlier court appearance, Fiala said he thought that the Texas case had been dropped and that he wasn’t trying to run from authorities. He could have fought extradition and forced Texas authorities to seek a governor’s warrant.

Kittel told Fiala he likely would be moved to Texas in the next two weeks.