Priest Arrested on Sex Abuse Charges

Empire State News
June 4, 2008

BROOKLYN - Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes Wednesday announced the arrest of Father Augusto Cortez, 44, on sex abuse charges.

Cortez, a priest who works with students at Saint John the Baptist School, in Bushwick, is charged with Sex Abuse in the Second Degree, Forcible Touching and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail.

He is charged with touching a 12-year-old female student's breast May 29.

District Attorney Hynes thanked the Diocese of Brooklyn for quick action in alerting prosecutors about the allegations, in accordance with the protocols of a Memorandum of Understanding. Since the Memorandum of Understanding was drafted by the Diocese and the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, in 2002, sex-crimes charges have been brought against five priests.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the Diocese of Brooklyn has agreed to notify the Kings County District Attorney's Office whenever church officials are accused of sexual misconduct. The District Attorney agrees to keep the investigation confidential until and unless formal charges are brought.


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