Bishop Sorry for Not Turning in Priest

Leading the Charge
August 13, 2006

52 minutes ago

Santa Rosa, Calif. - A Roman Catholic bishop apologized Saturday for waiting several days to notify authorities about sexual abuse allegations against a priest, a delay that may have allowed the priest to flee to Mexico.

Church officials say Ochoa admitted April 28 to sexually abusing a 12-year-old altar boy, but the allegations were not reported to Child Protective Services until May 1, and Ochoa disappeared the next day.

Ochoa, 68, was charged June 22 with 10 felony counts and one misdemeanor count of child sex abuse involving three boys he allegedly abused. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

Prosecutors said last month they were investigating whether church officials violated a state law requiring doctors, nurses, teachers and clergy members to immediately report child sex abuse claims.

Sonoma County District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua told The (Santa Rosa) Press Democrat on Saturday he had not seen the letter and that the investigation was pending.


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