Diocese Asked to Help Catch Fugitive Priest

By Jennifer Garza
Sacramento Bee [Sacramento CA]
February 9, 2007

Local Catholic church officials should do more to bring a fugitive priest to justice, a victims support group said Thursday.

Gerardo Beltran, who served in the Sacramento diocese from 1982 to 1991, fled to his hometown in Mexico after he was charged with four counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, according to the affidavit. In 1992, an arrest warrant was issued for the priest.

Beltran is reportedly serving as a priest in Mexico, and victims' rights supporters say Sacramento Catholic officials should ask church leaders for help.

"They all answer to the same power. It doesn't make sense when they say they can't do more," said Nancy Sloan of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, at a press conference in front of Sacramento diocesan headquarters. "Children are at risk."

Kevin Eckery, a diocesan spokesman, said Sacramento church officials have contacted Mexican church leaders numerous times.

"It's frustrating," he said. "We need to have somebody in Mexico arrest the guy and haul him in for extradition. We want him out of the ministry, too."


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