(CN) – A former Catholic priest who may be extradited to his native Ireland on sex-abuse charges was denied bail by a San Francisco federal judge.
Patrick Joseph McCabe, who is no longer a member of the clergy, was arrested in California this summer with a view toward extradition.
Irish authorities say McCabe, 74, molested six boys between 1973 and 1981. American men have also come forward in recent months claiming that McCabe molested them as boys when he worked as a priest in California parishes.
Prosecutors say McCabe has made six requests for bail – each denied by California judges – and is “flatly mistaken in his interpretation of the law.”
McCabe argued that he deserves bail because of his deteriorating health and because he would be granted bail on the charges in Ireland. He also claimed that charges against him have been unusually delayed.
In response to McCabe’s most recent request, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag wrote that McCabe is not entitled to release because he is a predator and a flight risk, with no ties to the community.
“McCabe abused his position of trust and authority to serially sexually molest young boys to fulfill his own admitted fetish,” Haag wrote. “The fact that the majority of these children apparently delayed coming forward to authorities to report their victimization should be fully expected; it should not, perversely, then be used by their molester as a basis for freedom.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge denied McCabe’s latest request on Friday, agreeing that the possibility of bail in another country is irrelevant.
McCabe’s extradition hearing is set for Feb. 4.