Judge Removes Himself from Priest Sex Abuse Case
September 18, 2012
A judge has removed himself from the case of a Woodburn priest accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy.
Judge Thomas Hart recused himself without reason from the case of Father Angel Perez on Monday, according to the judge's office.
Marion County Circuit Court Judge Susan Tripp will now be assigned to the case.
The alleged victim called police early in the morning Aug. 13 to report inappropriate contact from Perez, the head priest at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Woodburn.
According to court documents filed by Woodburn police, the alleged victim told detectives he was spending the night at the priest's home in Woodburn and woke up to flashes, possibly from a cell phone camera.
He told detectives Perez had his phone in one hand, and he was touching himself with his other hand, according to the probable cause affidavit filed by Woodburn police.
According to police, the boy told family members that the priest inappropriately touched him and also gave him beer.
Perez is facing charges of sexual abuse, using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct and furnishing alcohol to a minor, as well as DUII.
The probable cause documents said the priest drove to the boy's home and apologized to his family.