Cases Alleging Sexual Abuse by Former Ontario Priest Are
By Lori Fowler
February 11, 2014
Two of three lawsuits alleging a former Ontario priest
sexually abused a child have been settled for $3.8 million,
diocese of San Bernardino officials said Monday.
The diocese settled the cases against Alejandro “Alex”
Castillo last month in San Bernardino County Superior Court,
officials said, adding that Castillo — once a priest at Our Lady
of Guadalupe Church in Ontario — has been defrocked.
“The settlement was made in the interest of healing
for the victims, their family and the local church, and for the
continued stability of diocesan ministries,” according to a
statement released by the diocese. “The diocese acknowledges and
deeply regrets the sinful and unlawful actions of Castillo while
also noting that it took immediate action to remove him from
ministry and notify police as soon as the allegations against
him were known, in accordance with diocesan policy.”
Three civil lawsuits have been filed against Castillo
and the diocese, said Joelle Casteix, western regional director
for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Two were in
2011 and one in 2012.
The two settled were from 2011, Casteix said.
“No amount of money is going to bring back the
innocence of the boys that were abused or bring back the trust
of the family that was betrayed by Castillo,” she said. “But
hopefully it will allow these boys some sense of healing and a
big sense of justice.”
Casteix called the victims brave for filing the
“It’s not always about the money,” she said. “It’s
about punishing enablers and helping a wide web of victims in
the long run.”
The third civil suit, which claims abuse by Castillo
occurred as far back as the 1970s, is still going through the
Castillo was arrested by Ontario police in 2010 on
suspicion of molesting a 12-year-old boy. At the time, police
believed there were at least four other victims. The abuse
occurred as early as 2000 when Castillo worked at a church in
Rialto, police said. Charges were not filed in connection with
the four other victims due to insufficient evidence or because
the alleged crimes occurred beyond the statute of limitations.
Castillo pleaded no contest to committing a lewd act with a
child as part of a plea agreement in August 2011 and was
sentenced to a year in jail. He served eight months and was
released from jail in April 2012. As a condition of his
probation release, he registered as a sex offender.
Castillo worked as a priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe
Church in Ontario from 2003 to 2010. He resigned from the
Ontario church after he was released on bail.
Castillo was a priest at St. Catherine of Siena Parish
in Rialto for three years before moving to Our Lady of Guadalupe
in 2003. He also served as priest at St. George in Ontario from
2006 to 2008. Castillo joined the San Bernardino Diocese in
1988, serving with St. Anthony Parish in San Bernardino. From
1991 through 1996, Castillo worked in the diocese’s Pastoral
Center in Ministry.