Former Los Angeles priest pleads guilty to molestation in Texas

Los Angeles Times

By Ashley Powers
December 30, 2013

A former priest convicted twice of sex crimes in California and Texas pleaded guilty Monday to a molestation charge, Texas authorities said.

John Salazar, the subject of a front-page story in The Times, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to the office of the Swisher County attorney.

Salazar, 58, had been accused of abusing a young man who attended the Church of the Holy Spirit in Tulia, Texas, where Salazar served as pastor. Salazar’s lawyer did not return a phone call seeking comment.

The case was the fourth time Salazar has faced a criminal charge.

Salazar was ordained in Los Angeles in 1984. Within three years, he pleaded guilty to abusing two teenage boys and was sent to prison.

Upon his release, he met Bishop Leroy Matthiesen, who took him to the Diocese of Amarillo over the objections of church officials in L.A. Salazar started at the Tulia parish in 1991 and became a beloved figure in the Texas Panhandle community.

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