Victims and Their Kin Don't Want Abuser Freed

By Lisa Marie Gomez
San Antonio Express-News [Texas]
April 7, 2004

It's been more than a decade, but John Zuniga remembers clearly the fear he felt when the lights went out in his dorm at St. Anthony's High School Seminary in the early 1990s.

That's when Carlos Lozano, a priest and dean at the school, would come in and sexually abuse him and at least three other male students.

"He wore glasses, and I still remember him walking in the dark with a glare reflecting on them," Zuniga said. "I still have nightmares about that, and for years I would sleep with the lights on."

The sexual abuse began when Zuniga was a freshman on a scholarship and lasted throughout his sophomore year. After leaving the school as a junior, he told his mother about the abuse.

"You feel like a dirty rag that can't get clean no matter how much bleach you put on it," said Zuniga, 27, by phone from his home in Austin. "You lose a lot of dignity."

Lozano pleaded no contest in 1995 to charges that he molested four teenage boys at the school. He was given 10 years of deferred adjudication and served 30 days in prison.

Last month, just a few months before his 10 years were up, he was accused of having pornography on his computer at his Kingsville home.

He is being held in Bexar County Jail without bond.

On Tuesday, he was scheduled to have his deferred adjudication revoked, but instead Judge Philip Kazen Jr. agreed to hold a bond hearing, now scheduled for Thursday, and reset the hearing to revoke probation to May 18.

Family members of two of the victims, including Zuniga's mother, were upset about the possibility that Lozano could be released on bond.

"Until I see him in prison, maybe I'll get my satisfaction," said Cordelia Mendoza, Zuniga's mother.

"It took me about six years (after finding out about the abuse) before I put my foot into a church," she said.

Zuniga's friend Eduardo Ramon III, who also was sexually abused by Lozano, committed suicide in 1997 at age 20.

His mother, Barbara Garcia Boehland, was at Tuesday's hearing and said she fears Lozano will flee to Mexico if he's released on bond.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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