|Priest Arraigned on Abuse Charges in Kane County
Chicago Breaking News
January 21, 2010
The priest accused of sexually assaulting a young boy appeared at a hearing today where details of the five-year abusive relationship were released.
The Rev. Alejandro Flores, 37, was arraigned on seven felony counts that alleged the Bolivian-born priest molested the youth, starting in January 2005 when the boy would have been eight years old.
Authorities alleged the abuse took place in Flores' vehicle and at the St. Charles home of the victim's mother. At the time, Flores, who was ordained in 2009, was a seminarian assigned to St. Mary's Catholic Church in West Chicago, and he had a relationship with the victim's family.
At Thursday's hearing, Kane County Judge James Hallock asked Flores whether he needed an interpreter, and he said "a little," so Hallock ordered a Spanish language interpreter made available.
Flores was arrested Wednesday, following his release from a Joliet area hospital where he had been taken following an apparent suicide attempt earlier this month. Church officials said Flores, who had knowledge of the abuse investigation against him, had hurled himself from the balcony of a shuttered Joliet church.
He did not need any assistance to enter or leave the courtroom Thursday and did not show any obvious signs of injury.
Kane County Assistant State's Atty. Deb Bree told the judge that the boyfriend of the victim's mother thought he had seen Flores and the boy engaged in sexual contact on two occasions.
In a bizarre revelation, Bree relayed a conversation a fellow priest had with Flores while Flores was hospitalized. Flores allegedly told the other priest that Flores had been at the victim's house several months earlier, and that the victim's mother had served him tequila. Flores said he fell asleep and later awoke to find himself having sexual contact with the youth.
Geneva Attorney Glenn Sowa said several concerned lay people from one of the churches where Flores served had hired him.
"Obviously, we intend to enter a plea of not guilty and we'll move forward from there," Sowa said.
Bree said Flores had surrendered his passport to authorities. He is being held in the Kane County jail in lieu of $1 million bond. His next court date was set for Feb. 10.
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