Diocese Oks $1 Million to Settle Sex Abuse Suit

Los Angeles Times
February 22, 2003

The Catholic Diocese of Stockton reached a $1-million settlement Friday with a 19-year-old man who says he was sexually molested several years ago by a priest in Turlock and by a part-time youth coordinator at the Turlock parish.

The man, who asked that his name not be released, said the coordinator, Joe Luis Perez, engaged in unlawful sexual activity with him at Sacred Heart Parish when he was 13.

About a year later, Father Oscar Pelaez, a priest at the parish, began a series of sexual encounters with the victim that continued for more than two years, said the man's attorney, Joseph C. George of Sacramento.

Pelaez, who pleaded no contest in July to 12 felony counts of child molestation, is serving a 40-month sentence in a state prison. Perez, who no longer is employed by the diocese, is to go on trial Monday in Stanislaus County.


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