July 30, 2019
By Jozsef Papp
An Aiken priest has been placed on administrative leave after being accused of sharing explicit images with a juvenile.
Father Raymond Flores, 33, of St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church, was placed on leave without the ability to perform priestly duties. According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston, the suspension is a result of behavior inappropriate of a priest but did not involve the touching of a minor.
According to an Aiken County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Flores had an online conversation with a male juvenile via an adult social media application during which photographs of genitalia were exchanged. The complainant reportedly told police the victim’s family does not wish further investigation.
The diocese said in a statement Tuesday that it followed all legal and appropriate protocols, including prompt notification of law enforcement. No charges have been filed.
Lt. Jake Mahoney with the Aiken Department of Public Safety said his department took the report originally since the church is within city limits, but the case was sent to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office after it was determined the incident occurred outside city jurisdiction. According to the Aiken Public Safety incident report, officers received a call from the complainant July 21.
Capt. Eric Abdullah with the sheriff’s office said they received a report from the Aiken Department of Public Safety on Monday and have opened an investigation.
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