Dallas area priest arrested in Collin County

Richard Thomas Brown was issued an arrest warrant in Collin County for sexually assaulting a child in Plano. 

A former Dallas-area priest is being held in Dallas County Jail after being charged in Collin County and Dallas County for aggravated sexual assault of a child.

An arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Plano Star Courier shows Richard Thomas Brown abused a girl from 1989 to 1996 at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plano and in her home. She was 6 to 14 at the time of the abuse.

According to the document, Dallas Police Detective David Clark found Brown living under a fake name at an abbey in New Mexico. Brown admitted to befriending the survivor’s family while he served at St. Mark.

Brown told Clark he spent time with the girl before mass at St. Mark and visited the family’s home often.

According to the affidavit, the survivor told Clark the first time Brown abused her was in her home. The document shows Brown held confession with the girl in the closet of her bedroom and even spent the night.

According to the interview, the survivor remembered a pastor at St. Mark Church walking in on the abuse and alerting her mother. She told Clark she believes Brown was moved to Our Lady of the Lake in Rockwall following the event.

Brown was involved with a number of churches in the Dallas area. The affidavit states the Catholic Diocese of Dallas turned over a 592-page file showing Brown was accused and admitted to abusing two children in 1981 and 1987.

Following the abuse allegations of 1987, the Diocese of Dallas moved Brown to neighboring St. Phillips Parish in Dallas.

In 1993, after learning of the allegations of 1981, the diocese sent Brown to be psychologically evaluated in Connecticut. The document shows Brown was found to have “a long history of pedophilic behavior.”

The document states Brown repeatedly understated his role “in abusing several victims for over a decade in the four parishes that he served.” Brown told Clark the survivor initiated the abuse. She would have been under the age of 15 at the time.

A witness interview from the affidavit shows a former church member remembers the survivor as “being the perfect child.” The witness stated she recognized something happened to her and that she “changed.”

Brown is listed on the Catholic Diocese list of “priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse” of minors. The list dates back to incidents since the 1950s. He is among 24 priests accused of “credible abuse” in the Dallas area.

Brown is being held in Dallas County Jail on a bond total of $200,000.

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