The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Trial for priest charged with sex crimes - Victims Respond
Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434
We applaud the bravery of the victims of Fr. Alex Castillo, who have remained strong in the face of horrendous opposition by their church and community. Although only the charges of one victim will be tried, other victims who came forward did so out of a need for justice. We sincerely hope that the tried-and-true criminal justice system will help foster healing and keep children safe from sexual abuse.
While we understand parishioners' desire to support their priest, we hope that they will do so quietly. We fear that other victims of abuse are being scared and shamed into silence out of fear of retribution or public criticism. No victim of child sexual abuse should ever face that kind of bullying.
We urge anyone who may have experienced, witnessed or suspected sexual abuse - by Fr. Castillo or any adult - to call law enforcement. Ontario police have shown their dedication to the protection of children, and we hope that all law enforcement agencies faced with the same evidence are brave enough to allow the justice system do its job.
(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 23 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)
06:35 AM PDT on Wednesday, April 6, 2011
By DAVID OLSON
San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Colin Bilash Tuesday ruled there is enough evidence for a felony sex-crimes case against an Inland priest to go to trial.
The Rev. Alejandro " Alex" Jose Castillo is accused of molesting a 12-year-old boy in late 2008, when Castillo was pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church inOntario.
Castillo pleaded not guilty in October to seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14 and one count of forcible lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14.
He will next appear in court on April 28, said Karen Schmauss, the San BernardinoCounty deputy district attorney handling Castillo's case. An Ontario police detective detailed the accusations against Castillo during Tuesday's preliminary hearing, she said.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests