United Press International [New Mexico, Texas]
March 17, 1988
A Franciscan priest accused of sexually molesting two boys surrendered to authorities Thursday and pleaded innocent to two charges of indecency with a child.
The Rev. Federico Fernandez, 39, of San Antonio, who had been staying at a religious retreat and treatment center in New Mexico, entered a San Antonio courtroom accompanied by two attorneys about 9 a.m.
State District Judge Susan Reed released him on personal recognizance bonds, allowing him to return to the Foundation House and Villa Luis Martin in Jimenez Springs, N.M., until a pre-trial hearing in San Antonio May 26. A June 27 trial date was set.
A Bexar County grand jury had issued two indictments against Fernandez Tuesday, accusing him 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.
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