Former Roman Catholic priest Hadmels DeFrias, 47, who was defrocked after a conviction for child molestation in New Jersey, told NBC News that he is “no longer a threat to minors” and is now teaching children at the Colegio del Caribe school in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. “I don’t see the children with those eyes anymore,” DeFrias told NBC News, after a reporter tracked him down. “For me, they are children and they need to be treated like children because that is what they are. I don’t feel the attraction. I am not telling you that maybe someday it won’t be there, because I can’t predict the future.” DeFrias, who is a Dominican native, was convicted of fondling two brothers who were under 14 when he worked at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 2004.
Later Friday, the school reportedly told local media that they were not aware of DeFrias’ criminal history and fired him. According to the New York Daily News, the school claimed the U.S. government never notified their education department about DeFrias.