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Huntington Beach : Priest Pleads Not Guilty to New Morals Charge

A Roman Catholic priest charged with molesting three altar boys at a Huntington Beach church pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he molested a fourth boy.

Father Andrew Christian Andersen, who had pleaded not guilty to 24 counts of molesting three boys, again pleaded innocent in Municipal Court in Westminster to new charges filed on May 16.

The latest charge involves an alleged incident in 1983. He is also charged with 24 counts of molesting three other altar boys between February of 1985 and March of 1986.

Andersen’s attorney, William M. Monroe, said a preliminary examination will be held on June 24 to determine if there is sufficient evidence to require a trial. Monroe said, however, that the district attorney’s “office and our office are both trying to work out something that will resolve the case short of litigation. I’m hoping it does not require a plea.”

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But Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael C. Koski said he did not expect to work out a deal that would avoid a trial or plea.

Andersen, 34, was transferred from St. Bonaventure Catholic Church before the first charges in the case were filed in April. Monroe said the priest “is not performing any specific clerical duties at present” and is at an undisclosed location in Orange County.


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