Brownsville Diocese: Deacon "Removed Immediately" after Sex Abuse Allegation in 2012
By Dan Santella
January 21, 2014
|Ronaldo Mitchell Chavez|
A deacon at San Cristobal de Magallanes parish in Mission who is accused of molesting an altar boy over the course of two years was “immediately” removed as a minister when allegations surfaced in 2012, according to the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville.
Ronaldo Mitchell Chavez, who was arrested Friday and had posted bond by Monday morning, was employed as a principal at South Texas Educational Technologies Inc., whose superintendent said in a statement that Chavez was immediately suspended upon his arrest, according to KRGV-TV.
Brenda Riojas, a spokeswoman for the Brownsville Diocese, said in a statement that Chavez’s “faculties to minister as a deacon in the diocese were removed immediately in October 2012 when an allegation was reported to the parish priest and brought to the attention of the diocese.”
Approximately six alleged incidents of abuse happened at the suspect’s residence in Mission, said Cpl. Manuel Casas, Mission police spokesman.
The Monitor reported in Monday’s edition that Chavez had ministered at a church in Granjeno, which sits between the Rio Grande and Mission, and Casas again confirmed that information Monday night.
In addition, however, Riojas said via phone Monday that Chavez had been at San Cristobal de Magallanes parish in Mission.
“The allegation was then reported to law enforcement,” Riojas said in the statement. “We want the faithful of the Rio Grande Valley to know that we continue to do everything possible to ensure a safe environment, and that the Diocese of Brownsville is in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
“The Protecting God’s Children Program, which has been in place for 11 years in our diocese, provides special training that is required of all local church workers and volunteers, be they clergy or not,” Riojas said in the statement.
If convicted of the first-degree felony of continuous sexual abuse of a child, Chavez could face up to 99 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.