|Ontario Priest Accused of Boys' Sexual Abuse
By Rob McMillan
September 15, 2010
ONTARIO, Calif. (KABC) -- A Catholic priest has been accused of sexually abusing two young boys at a parish in San Bernardino County. Police confirm they've joined church officials in investigating the charges.
The priest denies the accusations but was removed from parish duty three months ago. His former parishioners are shocked by the charges, and some don't believe them.
It's something that's shocked everyone at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Ontario: allegations that Father Alex Castillo sexually abused two young boys, brothers.
It came to light in June when the parents reported it to the diocese, which then reported the matter to police.
It became public this past weekend when a letter revealing the allegations was read aloud during mass.
Castillo maintains his innocence.
Parishioners Eyewitness News spoke with support him.
"We love him and we support him," said one parishioner
"I've been coming here for several years, and as far as I know he's a very good priest," said Ontario resident Leonor Eligio. "He's always been real nice with the kids and stuff. I've never saw anything abnormal or anything I could say that I would think that it could happen," said Eligio.
Others said the children might have made the whole thing up.
Ontario Police have confirmed they're investigating the accusations.
As for the Diocese of San Bernardino, a spokesman there says the allegations are credible, and they've turned the matter over to a review board.
"Obviously we're very saddened and dismayed by this allegation, because we believe that the sexual abuse of children and young people is unacceptable," said John Andrews, spokesman for the Diocese of San Bernardino.
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