Former Catholic priest dies before abuse trial

Santa Fe New Mexican

October 6, 2020

By Michael Gerstein

A former Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing children decades ago has died just weeks before he was scheduled to go on trial on charges he raped a young girl at an Albuquerque parochial school in the early 1990s.

Sabine Griego, 82, died last week, according to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. His trial was scheduled to begin Nov. 16.

Levi Monagle, an Albuquerque-based attorney representing survivors in the criminal lawsuit and in a separate civil case brought against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, said Griego’s death is “deeply disheartening” to survivors.

“He evaded the criminal justice system for decades and for decades when it was pretty well known and acknowledged that he was implicated in childhood sexual abuse,” Monagle said.

Griego was arrested at his home in Las Vegas, N.M., in 2019 after being charged by the Attorney General’s Office with one count of sexual penetration of a minor and coercion resulting in great bodily harm and mental anguish. He was held without bond at the San Miguel County Detention Center before being released pending his trial.

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