Documents Detail Abuse Allegations

By Martin Espinoza
The Press Democrat [Santa Rosa CA]
July 28, 2006

[See also Walsh Defends Delay in Ochoa Case: Santa Rosa Bishop Says Keeping Priest from Kids Was His First Priority and That Filing a Report Didn't Cross His Mind, by Martin Espinoza, Press Democrat (7/28/06).]

As the search for fugitive priest Xavier Ochoa moves south into Mexico, details have emerged that paint a more sinister pattern of alleged sexual abuse.

Until this week, most of the information released about the investigation has described a Sonoma Valley priest who collected pornography and frequently touched and kissed young Latino boys.

But in documents supporting the federal no-bail warrant issued this week against Ochoa, investigators say the Roman Catholic priest brought a 15-year-old boy - now an adult in his 30s - from Mexico and installed him in his diocese-owned residence where the two engaged in regular, sometimes violent, sex.

"If victim No. 3 refused to cooperate with Ochoa, Ochoa would violently rape him," wrote Sonoma County Sheriff's Detective Ruben Martinez. "Victim No. 3 thought Ochoa had sex with him two to three times a week for approximately one year.

"Victim No. 3 stated that he was young and he did not know how to stop Ochoa from sexually molesting him."

The affidavit says the abuse started when he was 14 and living in Carichi, Chihuahua, Mexico.

"Victim No. 3 was approximately 15 years old when Ochoa got permission from victim No. 3's parents to bring him to Cotati .. . Victim No. 3 was approximately 16 years old when the molestation from Ochoa stopped," according to Detective Martinez.

It was this alleged victim who tipped off sheriff's investigators to a storage unit that Ochoa rented just before he left the county. Authorities seized a plastic penis, videos of "men having sexual activities" and other pornographic material.

Michael Meadows, a Walnut Creek attorney representing Ochoa's alleged victims, said he has documented at least nine abuse victims from three families. He believes Ochoa was molesting at least one boy at any given time since he came to Sonoma County from Mexico in the late 1980s.

"This guy is a classic serial child molester," said Meadows. "It's difficult to calculate the exact number of boys he molested."


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