Southern California Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse

Mercury News
September 14, 2010

ONTARIO, Calif.—A priest at an Ontario Catholic church has been accused of sexually abusing two boys within the past two years.

The Diocese of San Bernardino over the weekend told parishioners at four churches where the Rev. Alex Castillo had served about the allegations.

Diocesan spokesman John Andrews told the The Sun of San Bernardino that Castillo is still pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Ontario, but was removed from active duty on June 25—the day after the parents of the alleged victims, who are brothers, contacted the diocese.

Police Sgt. David McBride told the Los Angeles Times that the department was not contacted until early July, when it began an investigation into the allegations. No arrests have been made, McBride said.

Andrews said the priest denies the allegations. Andrews would not say how Castillo met the boys or whether they or their parents are current or former parishioners at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The removal means Castillo may not celebrate Mass or have any interactions with parishioners and that he has been relocated from his home near the church grounds, Andrews said.

Castillo has been a member of the diocese since 1988. He also worked at St. Anthony in San Bernardino from 1988-1989, St. Catherine of Siena in Rialto from 2000-2003 and St. George in Ontario from 2006-2008.

Before that, he worked for several years at the California Catholic Conference, which represents the state's Catholics on legislative and social issues.


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