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Jesuit Arrested In Chicago On Sex Assault Charges

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UPDATED 11/22/11 9:26 a.m.

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS) — A Roman Catholic priest was arrested in Chicago Monday, on allegations that he sexually assaulted a child 10 years ago in Colorado.

The Rev. Richard James Kurtz, S.J., 67, was arrested by the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force Monday at the Chicago-Detroit Province Office of the Society of Jesus, 2050 N. Clark St. He was ordered held on $100,000 bond.

An arrest warrant for the Jesuit priest had been issued Friday, FBI Special Agent Ross Rice said.

Kurtz worked as a chemistry teacher at University of Detroit High School in Detroit, Mich., at the time of the alleged assault. The victim and Kurtz were in Douglas County, Colo., when the alleged assault occurred.

The victim was a boy under the age of 18 at the time.

Douglas County, Colo., is south of Denver, and includes both suburban and rural areas.

County sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Ron Hanavan said Kurtz and the alleged victim knew each other, but he couldn’t say where the victim was from or what they were doing in Colorado because the case is sealed.

The investigation began after the Society of Jesus Chicago-Detroit Province notified the sheriff’s office in June about the alleged assault, Hanavan said. An arrest warrant was issued Friday.

The province said in a written statement Monday that in 2001, when a report of misconduct first surfaced, it reported the allegation to authorities in Michigan.

The province also has a policy under which it reports abuse allegations to authorities in the place where the conduct is said to have occurred. The province said it has been cooperating with Colorado authorities since April. It wasn’t immediately clear why the report was only made this year.

Kurtz was removed from public ministry soon after the initial allegation was received, the province said. The Jesuits said Kurtz’s activities have been restricted since then. It didn’t say where Kurtz was working at the time of his arrest.

Kurtz is charged with sexual assault of a child by one in a position of trust, a Class 4 felony, and two counts of attempted sexual assault of a child by one in a position of trust.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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