Ecuador Priest Sought in Sex Abuse

By Katie McDevitt
East Valley Tribune
April 3, 2006

Police are trying to track down a former Arizona priest accused of sexually abusing a minor. The Rev. Jorge Washington Cordova Hernandez, whose home diocese is in Quito, Ecuador, has been under investigation for about a year by Phoenix and Yuma police.

The priest is accused of abusing a minor during his assignment to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma in the Tucson Catholic Diocese from 1988-91. He is not accused of abuse during his work in the Phoenix Catholic Diocese from 1991-93.

"The Diocese of Phoenix and the Diocese of Tucson have collaborated to extend counseling and support to the individual who made the allegation," Phoenix diocese spokesman Daniel Subia wrote in a statement.

Subia would not say who made the allegation or what the specific allegation is.

Cordova worked in the Phoenix diocese until 1993 as a liaison to the Catholic Renewal Ministries, and was in residence at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glendale in 1991. He was assigned to St. Augustine Parish in Phoenix from 1992-93.

"We're going to cooperate any way possible," Subia said. "Any information we have, we will work with police."

The allegation against Hernandez has been forwarded to the Archbishop of Quito.

Police have not yet talked with Cordova.

Police ask anyone with information to call Phoenix detective Claudia Piano at (602) 534-3220 or Yuma detective Debbie Machin at (928) 373-4726.

The Phoenix and Tucson dioceses are urging any victims of sexual misconduct or abuse by a member of the clergy or any church worker to call police and contact Jean Sokol at the Office of Child and Youth Protection in Phoenix at (602) 354-2396 or Dr. Paul Duckro at the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection at (520) 838-2513.

Contact Katie McDevitt by email: or phone (480) -898-633


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