Grand jury declines to indict monsignor in consent case

1010 WINS Newsroom
October 21, 2019 - 7:32 pm

FILE - In this April 14, 2019, file photo, Monsignor Frank Rossi stands outside Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church in Woodville, Texas. A Texas grand jury has declined to indict the onetime deputy to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo on charges he sexually assaulted a married woman in a case that raised questions about consent in the #MeToo era. The Harris County District Attorney's Office had presented the case against Rossi on Monday, Oct. 21, more than a year after Laura Pontikes filed a criminal complaint with Houston police. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E File)

HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas grand jury has declined to indict the onetime deputy to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo on charges he sexually assaulted a married woman in a case that raised questions about consent in the #MeToo era.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office had presented the case against Monsignor Frank Rossi on Monday, more than a year after Laura Pontikes filed a criminal complaint with Houston police.

Dane Schiller, spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney's Office, said the grand jury determined no criminal charges were warranted but that prosecutors could bring the case to a new grand jury if new evidence is discovered.

Rossi was for years the vicar-general to DiNardo, the Catholic archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the U.S. bishops conference who has been leading the U.S. hierarchy's response to the sexual abuse scandal.

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