Long Beach Catholic Priest Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges
By Sarah Bennett
Long Beach Post
July 24, 2012
A Long Beach parish priest, Father Luis Jose Cuevas of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was arrested today on sexual assault charges including eight misdemeanor charges of sexual battery and one felony count involving lewd acts with a child.
The victims include two female adults and one 17 year-old female who reported repeated incidents of inappropriate touching over a two-year period, said Long Beach Police Sgt. Aaron Eaton.
The 67 year-old Cuevas has worked and lived on the grounds of the St. Athanasius Catholic Church at 5390 Linden Ave. for the last seven years and was arrested by LBPD with the assistance of the United States Marshal's Office at a residence in the City of San Jacinto, police said. Cuevas is being held on $1,000,000 bail while he awaits arraignment in Long Beach on Wednesday.
In April, the Long Beach Police Department received information from the two adult victims, who say they initially reported the incidents to the Archdiocese. After an investigation, during which the 17 year-old victim came forward, the LBPD presented the case to the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office on July 19. The D.A's Office subsequently filed charges.
Court documents also show that there are 16 other sexual battery charges that can't be filed against the suspect because the statute of limitations has run out.
The Long Beach Police believe that more victims may exist and are asking anyone who has had similar contact with the suspect to come forward.
The Post is awaiting additional statements from both the LBPD and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. We will update this story as more information becomes available.