Fla. priest pleads no contest in sex abuse case

Priest Trial
Posted at 11:30 AM, Jan 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-14 06:36:19-05

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A retired Roman Catholic priest has pleaded no contest to multiple child sex abuse charges.

Monday's plea agreement reduces the charges against Father Neil Doherty from capital to second degree felonies.

Attorneys for the victim said Doherty befriended a young boy who lived across the street from the church and later plied him with drug-laced sodas and sodomized him. Attorneys alleged that ritual continued for several years.

Attorneys also claim Doherty abused dozens of others boys and that church officials covered it up, moving him to a different church whenever an allegation surfaced.

Doherty faces up to 15 years in prison.

The Archdiocese of Miami did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

A Miami jury returned a $100 million verdict against Doherty in 2011 in a civil suit.