Grand Jury Indicts Former Midland Priest on Child Sex Charges

By Shanna Sissom
The Telegram
May 1, 2004

A former priest of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church was arrested on child sex abuse charges Friday after being indicted by a Midland County grand jury.

The Rev. Domingo Gonzales Estrada, 61, is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child and three counts of indecency with a child by contact.

The offenses against a child member of the church are alleged to have occurred back in 1990.

Estrada, who worked at the Midland church from 1986-1996, is a member of the religious order of Oblates of Mary Immaculate and not a member of the San Angelo Diocese, Bishop Michael Pfeifer said.

"His superiors routinely assigned him to a new ministry," a press release from the diocese stated.

Pfeifer said he had not received reports of any such allegations when Estrada was working within the diocese.

"I didn't hear any reports of this nature," Pfeifer told the Reporter-Telegram. "If I'd known about it, I'd have taken immediate action."

Estrada, who Pfeifer said currently lives in San Antonio, secured a $50,000 bond after his arrest through a bonding company, records showed.

His attorney, Tom Morgan, said Estrada will plead not guilty.

"He looks forward to trial and getting this matter behind him," Morgan said.

The indictment alleges consecutive sexual acts on a boy occurring during four consecutive days in June of 1990.

"These allegations always deeply trouble me, whenever you hear about a child being abused, and it troubles me when a priest is the one accused," Pfeifer explained.

In the prepared statement from the diocese, Pfeifer explained his position.

"As you of the media well know, a primary concern for me is always for anyone who believes that he or she might be a victim of a crime," the bishop's statement said, "My first concern is always for the victim, especially if that victim is a young person."

"As we await developments in this case, I ask and pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit," it continued. "It has been my policy to deal openly and candidly with the criminal justice authorities in these cases, and I shall continue to do just that."

Midland County Assistant District Attorney Robin Darr is prosecuting the case and could not be reached Friday.

Any original material on these pages is copyright 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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