Texas priest indicted, faces child sex abuse charges

KXAN-TV, NBC-21 [Austin TX]

May 15, 2024

By Steven Masso

A Brownsville priest was indicted on several child sex crimes, records show.

Fernando Gonzalez Ortega, who was serving as a priest at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Brownsville at the time of his arrest, was indicted May 8.

The six-count indictment charges him with continuous sex abuse of a child (victim under 14), indecency with a child with sexual contact, sexual assault by clergyman and three counts of sexual assault of a child.

Gonzalez-Ortega is accused of a sexually abusing a child from Dec. 27, 2012 through Dec. 26, 2014.

The indictment alleges that Gonzalez Ortega also sexually assaulted said child three times in 2017, with the most recent assault allegedly taking place on Sept. 15, 2022.

On Feb. 12, Brownsville police arrested Gonzalez Ortega at the 1900 block of Barnard Road on several active warrants. Gonzalez Ortega was initially arrested in February on multiple child sex-related crimes, including trafficking of a person.

He was arraigned the following day and his bond was set at $800,000.

Bishop Daniel E. Flores released a statement after Gonzalez Ortega’s arrest and said the individual who came forward is now an adult and was advised to report the allegation to police.

“I am deeply saddened and ask you to join me as I pray for the individual who came forward and the family, and all the parties affected, including parishioners, and the clergy across our diocese who tend to their faithful with fidelity and compassion,” Flores said.

Fernando Gonzalez Ortega (Brownsville PD)
Fernando Gonzalez Ortega (Brownsville PD)