Salinas: Priest Arrested for Alleged Unlawful Sexual Behavior with Minor

April 18, 2009

A 41-year-old priest from a Catholic church in Salinas was arrested Thursday evening for alleged unlawful sexual behavior with a minor and providing alcohol to a minor, Salinas police Commander Dino Bardoni said today.

Antonio Cortes, the pastor of Saint Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church was arrested at about 5 p.m. at the church rectory at 1702 Second Ave., according to police.

Bardoni said the victim, a teenage boy, reported the unlawful behavior, with the most recent incident allegedly happening earlier this week on church property.

Cortes was arrested without incident and booked at Monterey County Jail with bail set at $750,000, according to police.

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Lalo Villegas at (831) 758-7348, Detective Luis Bravo at (831) 758-7124, the Salinas Police Department's anonymous tip line at (831) 775-4222, or WE TIP at (800) 78-CRIME.

The Diocese of Monterey is cooperating with the investigation, and can be contacted by calling Warren Hoy at (831) 333-6874.


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