Monk trials moved to Gillespie County

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Date Published: 04/01/2008

In a change of venue from Blanco County, the trials of two former Christ of the Hills Monastery monks accused of sexually assaulting a novice monk in the 1990s have been moved to Gillespie County, prosecutor Cheryl Nelson said Tuesday.

She agreed to the request from attorneys for Walter Christley and Hugh Fallon, which was approved last month by state District Judge Dan Mills in Johnson City. Both men have pleaded innocent.

Fallon’s trial, set to begin July 28, will be followed by Christley’s.
Five monks were arrested in 2006 at the defunct monastery near Blanco, including founder Samuel A. Greene Jr., who committed suicide in September. His abbot, William Hughes, was convicted in October and received four 20-year sentences.

No trial date has been set for Jonathan Hitt, who’s already serving a 10-year prison term for indecency with a second novice monk.