S.A. Priest in Sex Case Removed

By J. Michael Parker
San Antonio Express-News [Texas]
February 24, 2004

A South Side Catholic priest has been removed from public ministry after an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a teenage minor in 1985 was found to be "substantive," the Archdiocese of San Antonio said Monday.

The Rev. Jose Aviles, 44, has been a priest in the archdiocese since 1990 and pastor of St. Joseph's South San Parish since June 2003.

He was placed on administrative leave and is undergoing long-term, residential psychological treatment, said Deacon Pat Rodgers, director of communications for the archdiocese.

"The allegation was deemed to be substantive enough to continue the investigation," Rodgers said.

The allegation was made last summer and concerned a single incident in 1985, before Aviles entered Assumption Seminary to study for the priesthood.

Nevertheless, "we followed the process we've had in place all along," Rodgers said.

No criminal charges were filed, and the statute of limitations has expired. Aviles could not be reached for comment.

The church's crisis intervention committee investigated and recommended that Aviles receive psychological evaluation. After that was done, it was determined he should undergo long-term residential treatment, according to a news release from the diocese.

Rodgers said the priest remained at St. Joseph's for months after the allegation was received because it was unclear at that time if the situation warranted his removal.

"You can never predict how long an investigation is going to take," Rodgers said. "They couldn't remove him until they had sufficient clarity about what they had."

Since Aviles' departure, parish assistant pastor Father Alejandro de la Torre has been assigned as temporary administrator. A permanent replacement will be announced as soon as possible, Rodgers said.


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