Pedophile Priest Fled to Mexico

By Bob Moffitt
October 26, 2010

Juan Ricardo Torres was a 14-year-old in Gridley back in 1982 when, he says, Father Jose Antonio Pinal Castellanos started sexually molesting him. In 1989, Torres finally told someone at the church. Torres says the church promised to remove Pinal from any contact with children and offered Torres counseling. He says he just tried to forget it ever happened until the Butte County District Attorney came calling in 2003 and asked for help in its prosecution of Pinal.

Torres agreed, but the United States Supreme Court ruled the prosecution could not continue because the statute of limitations had run out. Now, Torres has discovered Pinal is still in the priesthood and is in Mexico.

Torres filed a civil suit against the church in July, charging the church with fraud in that it failed to do anything to protect the children in the church from future abuses and he is seeking damages. He has also written a letter to Pope Benedict asking for his help in getting Pinal out of the church.

The group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is asking Bishop Soto of the Sacramento Diocese to use his position to put notices about Pinal on any available church bulletin boards or websites to warn children in Mexico. SNAP is asking any other victims to come forward.

Pinal was also a priest at churches in Biggs, Live Oak, Winters and Esparto.


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