Federico Fernandez

United Press International
March 16, 1988

A Bexar County grand jury has indicted a Franciscan priest on charges of sexually molesting two boys.

The Rev. Federico Fernandez, 39, of San Antonio was named in two indictments released Tuesday charging him with indecency with a child, Assistant Bexar County District Attorney Dan Maeso said.

Maeso said the indictments accuse Fernandez of sexually fondling two brothers, ages 10 and 16 at the time, in July 1987.

Police forwarded to the district attorney's office last month two complaints alleging a priest fondled a 16-year-old boy and his 10-year-old brother after the priest befriended their family, whom investigators described as "very poor, very religious."

Fernandez, who had not been arrested, was believed to be at a religious retreat in New Mexico.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Antonio said its officials could not surrender the priest to authorities since the suspect was a Franciscan. Officials with the Franciscan Friars, headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., could not be reached for comment.


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