Stockton Diocese Priest Makes Child Sex Admission
January 6, 2010

STOCKTON, CA - A longtime priest in the San Joaquin Valley has been relieved of duties following an admission of child sex 20 years ago, according to the Diocese of Stockton.

In a prepared statement, Bishop Stephen Blaire said no allegations of sexual misconduct had been made against Father Leo Suarez.

Suarez was ordained in 1988. He was assigned to the following parishes: St. Anthony in Hughson (1988-1991); St. Stanislaus in Modesto (1991-1992); St. George in Stockton (1992-1997); St. Edward's in Stockton (1997-2006); Sacred Heart in Turlock (2008-2009); and Our Lady of Fatima in Modesto (2009).

Diocese spokesman Sr. Terry Davis said there was no legal action regarding the 20-year-old incident at this time.

The bishop said Suarez was in treatment and urged anyone with information about a sexual misconduct incident involving Suarez to contact sister Barbara Thiella, the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at (209) 466-0636.

News10 called the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department to ask if there was a criminal investigation but has not heard back.


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