Pubdate: Sat, 20 Sep 2003
Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)
Copyright: 2003 Amarillo Globe-News
Author:  Alan Bean
Bookmark: (Tulia, Texas)


"Molester priest dies!" the headline read.

"The Diocese of Amarillo regrets that a minor was the victim of sexual 
misconduct by a priest working in our diocese," Amarillo Bishop John W. 
Yanta stated recently.

After listening to Texas Ranger Jay Foster discuss the case of Father 
Edward Graff, the presumption of guilt came naturally.

"I've got victims going back to the late 1950s. I've been told there may be 
40 at one school. There could be hundreds of victims in other places."

"This is not a man who woke up at 73 years old and decided to abuse 
children. This is a man who has been doing this all his life."

Reading these statements, Graff's parishioners asked if Foster could be 
describing the gentle saint they had learned to love.

The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that prosecutors and police officers 
must guard the presumption of innocence by refusing to discuss the 
character of the accused, express an opinion as to guilt or innocence, or 
release evidence they know to be inadmissible in court.

When former narcotics officer Tom Coleman was indicted in Tulia, 
prosecutors cautioned that arrest and indictment should not be taken as 
signs of guilt.

Father Ed Graff deserved the same consideration.

Alan Bean

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