Priest from Aurora Accused of Sexual Abuse Back in Court
By Dan Campana
February 18, 2016
|Alfredo Pedraza Arias has been charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving children under the age of 13. (Kane County Sheriff's Office / Handout)|
The Rev. Alfredo Pedraza Arias, who was previously affiliated with two Aurora-area parishes and accused of sexually abusing two children, made his first formal court appearance Thursday after posting bond.
Arias, 49, who is listed with a High Street address in Aurora, was charged Feb. 10 with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving children under the age of 13 between January 2009 and November 2014. Prosecutors allege Arias fondled the children at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora, as well as one of the youth's homes.
Arias has been free on $50,000 bail since posting bond Feb. 13, two days after authorities arrested him in Rockford on a warrant. As part of his release from jail, Arias is prohibited from having contact with anyone under the age of 18 or the two children referenced in the charges. He also was required to surrender his passport.
In a statement released last week and posted to its website, the Rockford Diocese indicated Arias, who arrived from Colombia in 2013, had been out of the ministry since October 2014 amid an investigation by authorities and the diocese which covers Kane County. Two allegations surfaced against Arias at that time. In addition to Sacred Heart, Arias worked at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Aurora and Hispanic Ministry in DeKalb, according to the diocese.
Three supporters sat with Arias as he waited for his brief hearing Thursday during which an April court date was scheduled by Kane County Judge Linda Abrahamson.