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Minister convicted of molesting kids readjusts to free life

minister September 17, 1996
Web posted at: 10:00 p.m. EDT

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A minister convicted of sexually abusing children is once more a free man, and plans to return to work with young people.

The Rev. Nathaniel Grady was convicted in 1986 of raping, sodomizing and sexually abusing five children while the head of a day care center. A judge released him July 9 after his lawyer argued that his appeal was mishandled.

"He has spent 10 years in prison for a crime that he did not commit. Enough is enough," said defense attorney Joel Rudin.

Grady denies he ever abused a child, and United Methodist Church leaders stood by him.

day.care

"I held onto the faith that I believed that justice would come," Grady said. "It took a long time."

But parents said the four- and five-year-old victims named Grady, and the children suffered at his hands.

"She started about being pregnant, and she would put a pillow under her stomach," one parent said of her daughter.

"Then she would also say that she was dirty down there, she needed a bath. A lot of times she would complain about when she would urinate -- the burning."

The parents of the victims, who received a substantial cash settlement in a civil suit, said Grady should not have been released.

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"These kids had things happen to them, and they were there. We as parents lived through the nightmare with these kids," another parent said.

For now, Grady is trying to put his life back together, visiting supporters and friends who did not forget him in prison. He said he plans to work with young people in church school.

"I don't have a bitterness toward children because I realize that children --these children -- were manipulated and used."

Correspondent Peg Tyre contributed to this report.

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