Priest Indicted on Indecency Charge

By Ralph Winingham
The Express-News
February 5, 1994

A Uvalde County grand jury has indicted the Rev. Johnny Davila, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish of Uvalde, on a charge of indecency with a child, District Attorney Rogelio Munoz said Friday.

The indictment was handed up Thursday, Munoz said, and an arrest warrant has been issued for the Roman Catholic priest. Davila had not been taken into custody by late Friday.

The action falls one day after the Rev. Carlos Lozano, dean of men at the St. Anthony's High School Seminary in San Antonio, was indicted by a Bexar County grand jury on charges of sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child.

Monsignor Lawrence Stuebben, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, said: "These cases, whether they involve any child, any family or any adult, are a tragedy.

"When it involves a priest, the tragedy is just doubled."

He said the two cases are not connected and that the archdiocese is cooperating with authorities.

"I wish that these things would go away in our society, but I also wish we didn't have murders and we didn't have other crime. We just have to deal with them," Stuebben said.

The archdiocese was made aware of the allegations against Davila and placed him on administrative leave Dec. 24, he said.

"This has been a very tough time for that parish (of about 175 people) and for everyone concerned," Stuebben added.

The allegations against Lozano involve complaints by four teen-age boys, while Davila is accused of sexual assault of a teen-age girl.

"Davila has retained a lawyer, and I believe negotiations are under way (concerning his surrendering to authorities)," Munoz said by telephone.

Munoz wouldn't provide additional details about the Davila case until the priest has been taken into custody.

Davila was placed on administrative leave and ordered to remain in San Antonio after archdiocesan officials were informed of the investigation by the Uvalde Police Department.

Davila has been a priest since 1984 and pastor of Sacred Heart in Uvalde since June 1992.

He was an associate pastor at Uvalde from 1984 to 1987 and also served at the St. James Parish in San Antonio, Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Kenedy and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Carrizo Springs.

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