Sentencing Set for Former Clayton Priest
Man Pleaded Guilty to Having Sex with Teen

By Michael Smith
Amarillo Globe News [New Mexico]
July 6, 2006

A former Raton, N.M., priest who once oversaw a parish in Clayton, N.M., will learn his fate in September after pleading guilty last month to taking a minor out of the country and having sex with him, court documents show.

George Silva entered his plea June 12 before U.S. District Judge Judith C. Herrera in a New Mexico federal courtroom in Albuquerque, according to court documents.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 28.

A federal grand jury indicted Silva in February on two counts of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct, court records show.

Silva pleaded to one of the travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct counts. The indictment on that count alleges Silva took a male teenager on a trip to Portugal in June 2005 and had oral sex with him.

Silva faces up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, at least three years of supervised release and possible restitution.

The teen's allegations against Silva came to light late in 2005. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M., conducted an internal investigation that found that Silva also violated dicoesan policies.

Officials with the archdiocese placed Silva on restricted status after hearing what they deemed "credible evidence" supporting the complaints, according to a statement released by the archdiocese at the time of Silva's indictment.

The archdiocese faces a civil suit filed by a guardian of the boy who accused Silva of molestation


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