CIUDAD JUáREZ (MEXICO)
El Paso Times
March 4, 2021
By Daniel Borunda
A Juárez Catholic priest convicted of sexually assaulting an altar server girl was sentenced by a Mexican court this week to more than 34 years in prison.
The Rev. Aristeo Trinidad Baca, 76, was found guilty Feb. 22 on charges of rape and aggravated sexual abuse, the Chihuahua attorney general’s office said.
Baca was convicted of sexually abusing a girl who was an altar server while Baca was pastor at Santa María de la Montaña parish near the mountains in southwestern Juárez.
Baca was convicted of sexually assaulting the girl on at least three occasions at the church between 2015 and 2018 starting when the girl was 8 years old.
An investigation began after the girl made an outcry to her family in 2019.
In addition to the prison sentence, Baca was ordered to pay reparations of more than 59,000 pesos (about $2,000 in U.S. dollars) to the victim.
In a statement, Juárez Bishop Jose Guadalupe Torres Campos said the church was in “deep pain and sadness,” adding that steps were being taken to prevent abuse.
“In view of the (legal) process against one of our priests accused of the crimes of sexual abuse and aggravated rape against a minor, I want to reiterate our confidence that God comforts the afflicted in their search for justice and is merciful to his people,” Torres wrote.