NorCal Bishop Apologizes in Priest Sex Abuse Case

August 15, 2006

(AP) SANTA ROSA, Calif. A Northern California bishop is speaking out today about his role in a priest abuse sexual abuse scandal.

Bishop Daniel Walsh of Santa Rosa could soon face criminal charges for failing to promptly report admissions of sexual abuse by a fellow priest. And that hesitation provided the priest in question -- Reverend Xavier Ochoa (ex-'AY-vee-uhr oh-CHOH-uh) -- time to flee prosecution.

Walsh of Santa Rosa tells The Associated Press in an interview today that he never intended to protect Ochoa.

On April 28th, Walsh met with Ochoa and the Reverend admitted three incidents of abuse. He was immediately stripped him of his duties as a priest and placed him on administrative leave.

But by the time authorities got wind of the abuses, Ochoa had fled, leaving Walsh holding the bag.

Authorities believe Ochoa is now in hiding in Mexico.


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