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Bill Donohue Defended Bush Catholic Outreach Staffer Who Was Outed As Sexual Predator

By ThinkProgress on February 9, 2007 at 12:29 pm

"Bill Donohue Defended Bush Catholic Outreach Staffer Who Was Outed As Sexual Predator"

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donohue.jpgDuring the 2004 presidential campaign, George Bush’s Catholic outreach coordinator, 54-year-old Deal Hudson, was outed as a sexual predator for taking advantage of a drunken 18-year old while he was a professor. The National Catholic Reporter reported:

According to documents obtained by NCR, Hudson invited a vulnerable freshman undergraduate, Cara Poppas, to join a group of older students for a pre-Lenten “Fat Tuesday” night of partying at a Greenwich Village bar. The night concluded after midnight in Hudson’s Fordham office, where he and the drunken 18-year-old exchanged sexual favors. The fallout would force his resignation from a tenured position at the Jesuit school, cost him $30,000, and derail a promising academic career.

Following the report, Hudson resigned from the Bush campaign, withdrew as a White House adviser, and was forced to step down as publisher of Crisis magazine, a D.C.-based conservative Catholic monthly.

Yet at least one prominent right-wing figure came to Hudson’s defense: the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, who has spent the last several days calling for the heads of two John Edwards bloggers. Donohue ardently defended Hudson in a statement, even invoking the Virgin Mary in downplaying his sexual assault:

In a press release, Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League, minimized the charges against Hudson and attempted a joke at the Virgin Mary’s expense. “Effective today,” Donohue wrote, his organization had “a new requirement for all future employees: all candidates must show proof of being immaculately conceived, that is, they must demonstrate that they were conceived without sin.”

The American Spectator reported later, “Responding to complaints, the Catholic League has removed the press release from its website.”

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