Priest Surrenders on Child Molesting Charges

November 29, 1995

A Roman Catholic priest under suspicion of sexually molesting dozens of altar boys over a 20-year period surrendered to police Wednesday.

Father Theodore Llanos appeared briefly in court but formal arraignment on 38 felony counts of child molestation was postponed until February 5.

The balding, 49-year-old cleric, who served in six parishes in the Los Angeles area over the past 20 years, was released on his own recognizance.

An arrest warrant was issued for Llanos two weeks ago and he surrendered after police contacted the priest's lawyer. Llanos had been in a Roman Catholic recovery facility in Suitland, Maryland.

The 38 molestation counts he faces involve acts against five boys since 1990.

But two dozen men have come forward accusing him of acts since 1972 that are outside the statute of limitations, said Thomas Economus, president of the Chicago-based Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse Linkup.

Economus, who attended Wednesday's hearing, said his organization will offer a $ 5,000 reward to "victims and survivors" who have proof of crimes committed since 1990.

Defense attorney Don Steier said there are "legal, constitutional issues about claims of evidence that occurred as far back as 23 years ago."


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