Judge Refuses to Reduce Accused Priest's Bail

By Kate Thayer
The Chronicle
March 18, 2010

ST. CHARLES A judge this morning denied a priest's request to reduce his $1 million bail and leave the state for psychological treatment.

Alejandro Flores, 37, is charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and abuse. Prosecutors say he molested a St. Charles boy for a five-year period, beginning when the boy was 8-year-old.

Flores wanted his bail reduced to $200,000 so he could go to St. Luke's Institute in Silver Spring, Md. - a treatment center for clergy. Before Flores could enter treatment, he would live in the Joliet area, where he lived before his January arrest, according to previous testimony.

Gallagher said he was concerned because Flores, a native of Bolivia, is not a U.S. citizen, and his only family still lives in Bolivia. He added that he could not place Flores on GPS monitoring in Joliet, nor in Maryland, and therefore would deny the motion.

But, Gallagher stopped short of calling Flores a flight risk, and said he was open to Flores' attorney Glenn Sowa to re-file a motion making the request should the GPS situation change.

This morning's hearing was continued from yesterday morning when Flores fainted just before the conclusion of the hearing.

Before that, Assistant State's Attorney Deb Bree told Gallagher she objected to reducing the bail, and allowing Flores to go out of state to the unlocked treatment facility.

In her argument, Bree noted other allegations of sexual misconduct by Flores, who most recently served at Holy Family Parish in Shorewood.

The St. Charles boy's brother has told investigators that Flores attempted to touch him sexually, Bree said. And a former fellow seminarian reported that at age 17 he had sexual contact with Flores, Bree said.

Also at yesterday's hearing, Flores' English teacher and friend - a parishioner - testified that she's given Flores thousands of dollars, and was appointed his power of attorney at the time of the arrest.

Bree told Gallagher that she's concerned that Flores did not earn the money he would have to post the $20,000 bond needed to leave jail.

"None of these [funds] were through his own blood, sweat and tears," she said, adding that losing the bond money wouldn't be a deterrent for leaving the country.


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