The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Ontario priest charged with child molestation - SNAP responds
Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org) Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434 cell
Today, San Bernardino County Prosecutors announced the arrest of local priest Fr. Alex Castillo on eight charges of child sexual abuse. Castillo worked at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Ontario, as well as parishes in northern California. We applaud the brave victims in this case who, despite a lack of community support, came forward, reporter their abuse to the police, and demanded that justice be served.
We also want to thank the Ontario Police and San Bernardino District Attorney's office, who listened to the victims and pursued the case, in spite of what we see as a perceived lack of cooperation from Diocese officials, who refused to disclose Castillo's location, didn't warn parishioners after Castillo was removed from his position, and didn't plead with some parishioners who held a rally last weekend in support of the priest.
We know that many parishioners at Our Lady of Guadalupe will be hurt and confused at this news, but we urge them to remember that the hurt they feel is nothing compared to the hurt of a child who has been sexually abused. We encourage the parishioners who participated at the rally to support the brave young victims in this case, who need love healing and care that only their community can provide.
The first priority of every Catholic should be the protection of children from sexual assault. We are encouraged that the Ontario Police agrees with us. But until church officials stop keeping parishioners in the dark and stonewalling victims, we can not be assured that any child is safe in any parish in the San Bernardino Diocese.
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949 322 7434 cell, [email protected])
Ontario priest charged with child molestation
Prosecutors on Monday charged an Ontario Catholic priest with molesting a 12-year-old boy, and police say he had at least four other victims.
The Rev. Jose Alejandro Castillo, also known as Father Alex, was arrested at his home in the 600 block of W. Zenia Court. He was booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga in lieu of $1 million bail.
Ontario police had been investigating the case since July 21. They confirmed 57-year-old Castillo committed eight sex acts with the boy.
Castillo worked as a priest the past seven years at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Ontario.
News of the investigation prompted parishioners to write letters to the Diocese of San Bernardino in support of Castillo. Castillo has denied the allegations.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office issued an arrest warrant for Castillo on Monday, charging him with seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child younger than 14-years-old. He was charged with an additional count of committing lewd and lascivious acts with a child, police said.
Police say he could face as much as 22 years in prison.
Investigators are also investigating allegations that Castillo committed sex acts with a 14-year-old boy while serving at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
Officers say a 16-year-old boy was identified as a victim, but charges won't be filed due to the statute of limitations on the crime.
Two other people claimed to be victimized by Castillo, but they were older than 18-years-old at the time and Castillo won't be charged in those cases either.
Police are concerned there are more victims. Anyone with information about the case or may have been victimized by Castillo may call Detective Mark Guski, 909-395-2726.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests