Trial of ex-New Mexico priest goes to a jury

New Mexico

The fate of a former New Mexico priest charged with sex abuse is in the hands of a federal jury.

The case of 81-year-old Arthur Perrault was sent to the jury Tuesday afternoon after a prosecutor and his attorney delivered their closing arguments in the case.

The 81-year-old Perrault, who disappeared from New Mexico in the early 1990s before being arrested in Morocco on an Interpol warrant, is charged in U.S. District Court in Santa Fe with aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact.

Authorities say Perrault had multiple victims in New Mexico but that the charges against him stemmed only from the abuse of one boy while at Santa Fe National Cemetery and Kirtland Air Force Base, where Perrault was a chaplain.

Perrault maintained in court proceedings that he was innocent of the accusations against him.

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