Preliminary Hearing Determination in Quilmes Court
Priest, accused of abusing boys who were under his care, will be tried
He was director of a home for orphan boys, absconded two years ago after a criminal complaint was brought against him, and could be sentenced to a maximum of 16 years in prison.
August 17, 2002
[Translated into English by BishopAccountability.org. Click below to see original article in Spanish.]
A Catholic priest, accused of having sexually abused six boys, ages 8 to 13, who lived at a children’s home in Quilmes, where he was director, will be tried in court. The trial date will be announced in the coming days by a preliminary court in Quilmes, a city in the south of Greater Buenos Aires.
The priest in question is Héctor Faustino Lezcano Pared, 44 years old, currently imprisoned at Unidad Penal 9, in La Plata, according to sources at the news agency Télam.
Lezcano Pared is a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Quilmes. In October 2000, a criminal complaint for child sexual abuse was filed against him by Julio González, a former employee of the children’s home, known as “Hermano Francisco,” in the province of Bosques. The priest had been home’s director since 1992.
Preliminary Court No. 3, presided by judges Martín Arias Duvall (chief judge), Armando Topalián, and Alicia Anache, must now determine a date for the trial against the priest, who is charged with “recurring sexual abuse of minors concurrent with recurring corruption of minors” (abuso sexual reiterados de menores agravado calificado y corrupción reiterada de menores calificadas en concurso real). If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 16 years in prison.
The case was opened in October, 2000 when Julio González (with his lawyer, Daniel Llermanos) filed a criminal complaint against the priest at Florencio Varela Police Station.
According to Gonzalez’s denunciation, the priest “sexually abused six boys who lived at the children’s home, where they were maltreated, [Pared] punishing them with a belt.”
A few days later another complaint against Lezcano Pared was filed with prosecutor Pablo Pérez Marcotte, in which a witness, whose identity is being withheld, claimed to have been victim of sexual abuse and maltreatment for five years.
The witness, a 19-year-old orphan, told the prosecutor that a judge’s order had placed him in the children’s home at the age of 13.
Maltreatment and Threats
“Shortly after moving into the home, in 1994, I was subjected to corporal punishment by Father Pared, who beat me with a rubber hose,” the boy said in his complaint.
He added: “The worst was when he began to massage my genitals, asking me to take a shower with him.” He also said Pared raped him.
“He threatened me on several occasions, telling me, ‘I’ll ruin you if you reveal what happens between us; you better be grateful to me for the house and food I’ve given you,’” said the complainant.
Lezcano Pared was reported to authorities by Julio González, agronomist and former employee of the children’s home, known as “Hermano Francisco,” where the priest was director until the Diocese of Quilmes removed him from the position in November, 2000.
The home, which provides shelter for homeless and orphan children, and those with family problems, is located at the intersection of Camino de Circunvalación and Naciones Unidas, in Bosques.
The priest was a fugitive of the law for four months until he was detained on January 10, 2001 in Baradero, a town in Buenos Aires Province.
Lezcano Pared was arrested in the house of a friend who lived in Baradero. The arrest warrant had been issued by Quilmes Supervisory Judge Adriana Myzskin.
According to judicial sources, the Diocese of Quilmes opened an ecclesiastical case against Lezcano Pared when mounting evidence appeared to implicate the priest, principally the testimony of two alleged victims whose names are being withheld.