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Judge declines to lower bond for defrocked Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a child

Richard Thomas Brown, 78, is accused of assaulting a young girl while he was a priest at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plano.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. Friday with information concerning Brown's bond. 

A defrocked Catholic priest accused of raping a child bonded out of jail Friday, despite a Dallas judge’s refusal to lower his bond amount.  

Richard Thomas Brown, 78, was arrested Jan. 29 in Missouri. He faces an aggravated sexual assault charge, stemming from accusations that he sexually assaulted a young girl when he was a priest in the 1980s and 1990s at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plano.

Brown's lawyer, Patrick McLain, asked visiting Judge Mike Snipes to lower his client's bail to $25,000 so that his family can afford to get him out of jail while he awaits trial. McLain said Brown is in poor health and needs medical attention. 

McLain said he was contacted by the victim, who indicated she did not oppose a lower bond for Brown.

Prosecutor Amy Derrick told the judge that last night the victim contacted them and said to disregard what she told the defense attorney. 

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Credit: wfaa

Snipes said he was concerned that, if released, Brown might flee the area to avoid trial. He asked Brown why he was living under another name when police found and questioned him last year at a New Mexico abbey. 

Brown, who is partially deaf, told the judge he joined a religious order there and, as per custom, assumed the name "Father Pete."

Derrick urged the judge to keep Brown's bail at $100,000. Snipes told Brown he had contemplated a higher amount for him but would go with the state's recommendation to keep it at $100,000. 

Brown was able to post bond Friday evening. Snipes said he would require that Brown wear an ankle monitor. 

McLain said that may be difficult if Brown is taken to a medical facility. Snipes said he would hear from both sides when and if Brown makes bond.

Court records show that Brown is accused of molesting dozens of children. One alleged victim's aunt recently filed a civil lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Dallas claiming that the organization did little to protect children from Brown. 

In that suit, Brown is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a young girl when he was a priest at Holy Family of Nazareth in Irving.

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