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Ex-Priest Guilty Of Sex Charges

A former priest was convicted Saturday of sexually abusing altar boys in a case that has devastated the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.

A jury deliberated well 7 1/2 hours over two days before finding Rudolph Kos, 52, guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual assault and one of indecency with a child.

The jury acquitted Kos of one indecency count involving the alleged molestation of one altar boy.

The victims and their families greeted the verdicts with smiles and hugs. From Kos, there was no visible reaction as he turned and looked at the jury as it was polled on each count.

The punishment phase is scheduled to begin Monday.

Kos had pleaded guilty earlier in the week to one count of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child.

The eight-count indictment alleged sexual abuse involving four former altar boys who said they were molested a total of about 1,350 times.

After five hours' deliberation Friday, the Dallas County jury continued their discussions throughout Saturday morning before returning its verdict.

Sex-abuse allegations against Kos have already led to a jury award of $119.6 million against Kos and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. That was the largest monetary judgment in any clergy sex-abuse case in U.S. history.

The panel is considering whether he is guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, punishable by up to life in prison, and two counts of indecency with a child, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The former clergyman entered guilty pleas as his trial opened Tuesday to one count of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child. All are second-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Kos entered his plea before the first witness, an 18-year-old former altar boy, testified about being molested during Kos' tenure as pastor at St. John's Catholic Church in Ennis, Texas, from 1988-92.

Kos did not testify in either the criminal or the civil trial against him.

In closing arguments Friday, prosecutor Howard Blackmon urged the jury to hold Kos accountable for what the witnesses said he did.

"Find him guilty across the board," Blackmon said. "End his trail of betrayal and deceit."

Written by Pam Easton
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