Ex-Priest of Concordia Was Accused of Abuse in United States
The case is narrated in the book “Abusos Sexuales”
Revista Análisis de la Actualidad
July 30, 2010
[Translated into English by BishopAccountability.org. Click below to see original article in Spanish.]
Jesús Garay, former priest and current educational consultant for Alejandro Carbó de Concordia College, acknowledged that, in 1998, when he was at Holy Family Church in California, he was accused of raping a 17 year-old girl, who then became pregnant. While admitting that he’d maintained “a link” with the girl, he said “there was never any acting with force.” After the scandal, the Church brought him back to Argentina, where he continued as a priest for another ten years, during which time he was presbyter until 2008, in charge of the parish of Villa Adela, and chaplain of Gendarmerie Squadron 4.
The case of Jesús Garay appears in the book “Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church,” recently published by journalist Jorge Llistosella, who performed a comprehensive investigation and documentation of pedophilia and other crimes committed by Argentine priests and priests from other countries.
Among the myriad cases documented, the book tells the story of a woman who filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, in the United States, claiming that the priest Jesús Garay had raped her, and, when she became pregnant, pressured her to have an abortion.
The woman, who the court identified with the alias Jane Doe, said the priest repeatedly raped her in 1997, when she was 17 years old and worked as a part-time secretary at the Holy Family Church in Wilmington, California.
According to her testimony, she became pregnant in December 1997, and Garay continued sexually abusing her “until about April 1998.” The lawsuit alleges that the Archdiocese did not notify authorities about the sex abuse, did not provide medical coverage to the young woman during her pregnancy, and did not offer child support after she gave birth.
U.S. records on abusive priests show that Garay arrived in Los Angeles via Venado Tuerto, in the province de Santa Fe, as reported in the October 5, 2004 edition of The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Diario Río Uruguay reported that days later Garay visited the offices of the National School, where he acknowledged having been in North America as a recently ordained priest, and that on a visit to Argentina, found out that a criminal complaint had been made against him. However, he then recanted, saying that while still in the United States, a lawyer for the plaintiff informed him that their objective “was to get a ruling for a lifetime audit of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.”
Although Garay declined to be formally interviewed, he admitted that he was implicated in the investigation and warned that he would take all legal reprisals against those who tarnish his “name and honor.”
Aside from his personal situation, the evidence shows that a year after Garay was denounced in California, the Catholic Church sent him back to Argentina, relocating him to the Diocese of Concordia to continue exercising his priestly functions in the parishes of San José, General Campos, and Concordia City, where he was named chaplain of Gendarmerie, in a ceremony attended by the Chief of Chaplains of the Army, Mario Bonabotta.
In his book, Llistosella writes that “psychoanalysis says that a person cannot be without his or her sexuality, but also says that there are people who can turn their sex drive toward something more ethereal, such as the kingdom of heaven.”
Garay has clearly chosen the former, since, in addition to the details of this case, he would go on to definitively leave the ministry in 2008 in order to marry a prominent judiciary official of Concordia.