Exclusive: Students of Arrested 87-year-old Bronx Priest Speak out 20 Years Later

By Mario Diaz
August 5, 2011,0,3795670.story


A day after PIX11 News broke the story of 87-year-old Father Jaime Duenas being arrested for sexually abusing a 16-year-old victim over the course of three days in the past week, PIX 11 News spoke exclusively to two women who were students of The Church of Our Blessed Lady on East 233rd St in the early and mid '90s.

Both women are mothers, in their thirties, and both are adamant that Father Duenas made them feel very uncomfortable.

"He was very touchy-feely," said Natalia who did not want to provide her last name, or have her face shown during the interview.

Another woman, Shantel, said she was "not surprised" by the arrest, adding, "I used to be around the priests and I was never comfortable."

The Archdiocese of New York says that they plan on having a new priest address the congregation in both Spanish and English during Sunday masses to not only fully explain the developments, but also to provide support.

Father Duenas was released on his own recognizance Wednesday night. According to the Catholic church he is still in the diocese, but he has been suspended.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.