News from BSO

PRIEST DRUGGED AND RAPED BOYS

BSO Case Number: OP06-01-03690
PIO Number: 06-1-36
Date: 1973 – 2000
Time:
Place of Occurrence: Broward, Miami-Dade, and Broward Counties

Victim(s):

  • Three boys and one adult male (names withheld)

Suspect(s):

  • Neil Augustine Doherty, male, 62, 2/15/43, 5851 N. Andrews Ave., #129, Ft. Lauderdale

Description of Incident:

A former Catholic priest from Broward County is in jail, charged with giving drugs and alcohol to young boys and raping them when they passed out.

Broward Sheriff's Office investigators began looking at 62-year-old Neil Augustine Doherty in August 2005 after getting information from the Broward County State Attorney’s Office that Doherty may have sexually abused several children. Over the course of the investigation, BSO detectives found four victims who all told chillingly similar stories.

One victim said he first met Father Doherty at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ft. Lauderdale in 1973 when he was 27-years-old. During that meeting, Doherty steered the conversation towards sex. After several more meetings, Doherty brought the victim to a private home, gave him alcohol and marijuana, and then sexually assaulted the him.

Another victim, a young boy, told investigators he first met Doherty when he was about seven years old.
He said Doherty would hold “private confessions” with him nearly every day. The victim said that several times, Doherty gave him soda that made him pass out. While the boy was unconscious, Doherty would sexually assault him. The attacks on this victim went on for several years, ending in March 2000.

Investigators interviewed two more victims who told similar stories. Each said they went to Doherty for counseling, were given drugs, passed out, and were sexually assaulted.

On January 26th, Broward Sheriff's Office detectives arrested Doherty at the Extended Stay hotel at 5851 N. Andrews Avenue in Ft. Lauderdale. The former priest had been living at the hotel for close to a year. Doherty, who retired in April 2002, is in the Broward Sheriff's Office Main Jail. He is being held without bond on five sex-related charges.

BSO investigators are talking to several others who may have been sexually assaulted by Doherty –and they say there are likely many more victims. They are asking anyone that may have been victimized by the former priest to contact the Broward Sheriff's Office Sex Crimes Unit at (954) 321-4240.

INVESTIGATORS: Det. E. Hendel, CI, Sex Crimes / Broward Co. State Atty.
THIS REPORT BY: Hugh Graf / PI0 1/27/06 / 11:00 a.m.

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