South Florida Priest Neil Doherty Sentenced to 15 Years in Sex Abuse Case

Neil Doherty gets maximum behind bars in sex abuse case

A South Florida priest accused of molesting several boys was sentenced to 15 years behind bars Monday after pleading no contest to several charges earlier this month.

Neil Doherty, 69, was sentenced to the maximum prison term after pleading no contest to six counts of lewd and lascivious acts upon a child.

The retired priest had been charged with eight counts including sexual battery against the victim, who alleged Doherty drugged and raped him multiple times as a young boy.

After the sentence was handed down, the Archdiocese of Miami released a statement saying "justice was served."

"We continue to pray for the healing of those whom he victimized as well as for all young people who have been abused by an adult in a position of trust. That a priest would give scandal in this way both angers and shames us," the Archdiocese statement read in part. "The Archdiocese of Miami has taken great steps to protect God’s children through its mandatory Safe Environment procedures which include national background checks, training for all employees, clergy and volunteers, and teaching our children how to be safe in today’s world."

Doherty, a former priest at St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Margate, has been accused in several alleged incidents dating back to the early 1970s. Some of the accusations were too old to prosecute. He retired from the Archdiocese of Miami in 2004.

A jury awarded a $100 million verdict against Doherty in a sex abuse case in 2011.

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