Shorewood priest charged


Shorewood priest charged

Man accused of molesting St. Charles boy

January 21, 2010|By Clifford Ward, Special to the Tribune
A priest who authorities say hurled himself from a church balcony in a suicide attempt after he was accused of molesting a boy has been charged with seven felonies, including predatory criminal sexual assault, Kane County authorities said Wednesday.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, 37, also was charged with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and two counts of criminal sexual assault for allegedly molesting the boy, now 13, at a West Chicago church where Flores was assigned as a seminarian, according to the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

State’s Attorney John Barsanti said Flores abused the St. Charles boy between Jan. 1, 2005, and Jan. 1, 2010.

Flores was released from the hospital Wednesday and was in the custody of Kane County authorities. He was expected to be booked into the county jail later Wednesday and was to appear before a judge Thursday afternoon.

Flores was formally charged Friday, though the charge remained sealed until he was well enough to be taken in custody. The Bolivian-born priest had been hospitalized after reportedly trying to kill himself by leaping from the balcony. His bail was set at $1 million, Barsanti said. Flores must surrender his passport should he post bail.

On Jan. 6, two days after the Joliet Diocese placed Flores on leave from a Shorewood church when the abuse allegations surfaced, Flores fell 20 feet to the floor at St. Mary’s Carmelite Church in Joliet.

He was found unconscious between a row of pews. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Both police and church officials characterized it as a suicide attempt.

Flores was ordained in June. The abuse allegations stemmed from Flores’ time as a seminarian at St. Mary Catholic Church in West Chicago, authorities said.

The church’s pastor, the Rev. John Balluff, addressed the issue in the parish’s weekly bulletin, urging any parishioner with additional abuse allegations to immediately contact law enforcement.

“We will always be committed to doing everything possible to protect children, to help this child and his family and to help bring about healing for our families and the people of the diocese,” Balluff wrote.

Balluff did not return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday.

At a news conference earlier this month, Joliet Bishop J. Peter Sartain apologized to the boy and his family. There were no previous abuse allegations against Flores, the bishop said.

Barsanti said his office became aware of the allegations against Flores through the West Chicago police, who had received information from the church. Under state law, clergy are mandated reporters, meaning they must forward any allegations of sexual abuse. Police turned their investigation over to the Kane County Child Advocacy Center.

 

 

About victimsofrapebythercc

The Catechism offers a clear moral teaching: "Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them." (no. 2356) Note that rape is "an intrinsically evil act," meaning that it is evil at its very root, nothing justifies it, and it is objectively a mortal sin. An evil act was done against me, a crime, by a priest at St Thomas More Parish in Durham, NH. An evil and a crime I will no longer keep silent about. Those who perpetrate crimes against children, especially those of the Roman Catholic Church, should all be punished for their crimes against children. Anything less would be criminal.

Posted on February 13, 2013, in Child Sex Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse, Pope Benedict, Priest Child Sex Abuse, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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