From Northpinellas: Pastor apologizes to church:
The pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church has apologized to his parishioners for hiring a man accused of making a lewd proposition to a teenager.
Father Tom Madden took sole responsibility for hiring William Forte as the church's facilities manager in February 2004. Forte, 60, was arrested last week on charges that he offered a teen $100 last year to perform a sex act, which the boy refused.
'This has been very disturbing for me,' Madden said Friday during his first interview about the case. 'I carry the weight and pain of a lot of people's lives on my soul.'
Madden said he knew Forte had an arrest record when he hired him. In 1992, Forte had been charged in Polk County with showing pornography to six teens, giving them alcohol and paying them for sex. He ultimately pleaded guilty to two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and received six months' probation.