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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Priest wins reduced bail; SNAP responds

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, jcasteix@gmail.com)

We’re upset that Castillo’s bail has been reduced and believe kids are more at risk of child sex crimes as a result. To be sure, the rights of an accused child molester are important. But the rights of innocent and vulnerable children are even more important.

Dozens and dozens of accused predator priests from overseas have fled the US and escaped justice. Some of them are still in active ministry today. We believe they are likely still molesting kids. So our question to this judge is “Why take the risk?”

The chances that Castillo might flee are even better, we suspect, because he has effectively deceived and manipulated a number of his parishioners into believing he’s innocent.

We’re glad that, if freed, Castillo will be required to wear a tracking device. But while being tracked by a GPS may be better than other forms of oversight it’s far from fool-proof.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

Priest wins reduced bail
Suspect would be tracked by GPS
Will Bigham, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/02/2010 04:16:05 AM PDT
Updated: 11/02/2010 04:17:02 AM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA - A judge lowered bail Monday for an Ontario Catholic priest charged with molesting a 12-year-old boy in his parish from $1 million to $300,000. If released on bail, 57-year-old Jose Alejan dro Castillo must surrender his passport and wear a GPS tracking device.

He will be prohibited from contacting minors and must stay in a home in Banning that he can only leave between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Judge Donald G. Umhofer said in making his ruling in West Valley Superior Court. Umhofer's ruling was made over the objections of prosecutors, who asked that bail be set at $750,000. Prosecutors described Castillo as a flight risk with family ties to Mexico, as well as a potential threat to children.

Castillo, a priest for seven years at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Ontario, was arrested and charged last year with eight felony counts of committing lewd or lascivious acts two years ago with a 12-year-old boy.

Castillo's attorney, Mike Scafiddi, was reluctant to comment to reporters after the hearing, except to say that Castillo is innocent.

Scafiddi declined to say when Castillo might post bail. Online booking records from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department showed Castillo remained in custody late Monday at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

Deputy District Attorney Karen Schmauss, the prosecutor assigned to Castillo's case, said she believes the priest's parishioners are supplying bail for Castillo.

Schmauss said that during a meeting in Umhofer's chambers before Monday's hearing, Scafiddi said Castillo would probably resign from his position as a priest, which he has held for 29 years.

"He's not going to do any priestly duties" if he posts bail, Schmauss said.

The prosecutor said four other parishioners besides the 12-year-old boy have reported having sexual contact with Castillo.

Castillo is next due in court Dec. 8.


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org