SAN ANTONIO (TX)
KSAT-TV, ABC-12 [San Antonio TX]
September 20, 2023
By Patty Santos
Father Alejandro Ortega, Rev. Jesus Eduardo “Lalo” Martinez-Solis both removed from service
Converse TX – No criminal charges have been filed against two Catholic priests in the San Antonio Archdiocese accused of sexual abuse against minors.
Both priests were removed from their church duties last month by the archdiocese.
According to San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, Father Alejandro Ortega, a priest at St. Monica’s Church in Converse, was accused of sexually inappropriate physical contact with a minor.
“The Archdiocesan Review Board reviewed the investigation and advised me that there was sufficient evidence of sexually inappropriate physical contact with a minor to require that I refer the matter to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith for their judgement on the matter. The Review Board further recommended that Father Ortega may pose a continuing risk to minors, that he should not be returned to ministry, and that the affected communities should be notified,” García-Siller said in a letter to parishioners read during a service that was also livestreamed on Facebook.
This week, Converse police told KSAT that they were not brought into the investigation until after they learned about it from the media, but said that no charges are expected to be filed.
“At the conclusion of our investigation, it was determined that there was no sexual abuse, sexual assault, etc. Although, the actions of the Priest made the complainant uncomfortable and reasonably so, they did not meet the elements of a criminal offense, other than a class c misdemeanor. A Non-prosecution form was signed, indicating the refusal to allow us to file with our municipal court,” Converse police told KSAT in an emailed statement.
The archdiocese also removed another priest from duty over the summer following allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual grooming of a minor.
According to Garcia-Siller, the Rev. Jesus Eduardo “Lalo” Martinez-Solis of St. Joseph Church in Honey Creek in Spring Branch was removed from his duties on July 26.
The Archdiocesan Review Board advised Garcia-Siller that there was sufficient evidence of sexual misconduct, and Martinez posed a continuing risk to minors and should not be allowed to continue being a priest.
The Comal County Sheriff’s Office told KSAT that Martinez-Solis was not arrested and is not expected to be charged. The spokesperson said the alleged victim did not wish to pursue further investigation.
KSAT asked the archdiocese about the priests’ ability to continue in the ministry.
“These matters are proceeding through the canonical process and have been referred to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican,” Director of Communications Jordan McMorrough told KSAT through an email.
Anyone else who has been a victim of sexual abuse within the Archdiocese is urged to contact the police and the Office for Victim Assistance and Safe Environment at 210-734-7786.