Catholic priest seeks custody of daughter

Oct. 7, 2009 at 9:42 PM
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MIAMI, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A Roman Catholic priest in South Florida is seeking custody of the daughter he fathered with a former stripper, his lawyer said Wednesday.

David Dueppen, who is on a leave of absence from St. Maximilian Kolbe Church in Pembroke Pines, filed a petition in Miami-Dade Family Court this week, The Miami Herald reported. Lawyer Raymon Rafool said Dueppen believes he should care for the baby, Marilyn Epiphany, at least 70 percent of the time.

"He has never denied paternity for the child and he would like to be very involved in the child's life," Rafool said.

Beatrice Hernandez, the girl's mother, said she first met Dueppen seven years ago at Porky's, a club where she was working as a stripper. She said they had an intermittent affair.

The family court granted Hernandez a temporary restraining order after she alleged Dueppen choked her during a dispute about child support.

Rafool said his client denies assaulting Hernandez. He said Dueppen is looking for a job other than serving as a priest.

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