Father Neil Doherty, retired Roman Catholic priest, sentenced in sex abuse case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- A retired Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing dozens of boys for decades has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in Fort Lauderdale court.

Father Neil Doherty was sentenced Monday after pleading no contest in a deal that reduced the sex abuse charges from a capital felony to a second-degree felony. He will also have to register as a sex offender.

The plea comes after several other alleged victims came forward and were planning to testify.

Attorneys for the victims say Doherty befriended troubled young boys for years, plied them with drugs and alcohol then sexually abused them.

A statement from one of the victims blamed the church over covering up the abuse, making it easier for Doherty to victimize more children.

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