The Latest: Fugitive priest pleads not guilty to sex abuse

The Latest on the arrest of a fugitive priest from New Mexico on child sexual abuse charges (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

A fugitive priest suspected of child abuse decades ago in New Mexico has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of abuse.

Arthur Perrault entered his plea Friday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque following his arrest in Morocco and return to the U.S.

The 80-year-old Perrault is facing charges of criminal aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact in incidents that federal authorities say happened at Kirtland Air Force Base and Santa Fe National Cemetery in the 1990s.

Perrault vanished in 1992, just days before an attorney filed two lawsuits against the archdiocese alleging Perrault had sexually assaulted seven children.

___

12:15 p.m.

The FBI says a fugitive priest suspected of child abuse decades ago in New Mexico was taken into custody by U.S. agents in Morocco.

FBI Special Agent in Charge James Langenberg said Friday in Albuquerque that two agents flew to Morocco and took custody of 80-year-old Arthur Perrault on Thursday.

Officials say Perrault had been held by Moroccan authorities for about a year after the FBI determined he was in that country. He was later transferred to U.S. custody.

An arrest warrant filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque says Perrault was formally arrested in New York within hours after his return to the U.S.

He is facing charges of criminal aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact in incidents that federal authorities say happened at Kirtland Air Force Base and Santa Fe National Cemetery. It was unclear if he has a lawyer.

___

10:45 a.m.

A fugitive priest suspected of child abuse decades ago in New Mexico has been arrested.

Court documents show 80-year-old Arthur J. Perrault was arrested Thursday in New York, and has been charged with criminal aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact in assaults that federal authorities say happened at Kirtland Airforce Base and Santa Fe National Cemetery.

He is scheduled for a first federal court appearance Friday in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Perrault had been a chaplain at the base in Albuquerque.

He vanished in 1992, just days before an attorney filed two lawsuits against the archdiocese alleging Perrault had sexually assaulted seven children at his parish.

Perrault turned up last year in Morocco, working at an English-language school for children, where he was subsequently fired.