Boy Told Sister: "Father Angel Touched Me in My Privates," Court Affidavit Said
By Maxine Bernstein
August 14, 2012
|The Rev. Angel Armando Perez at Saint Luke Catholic Church in Woodburn. |
A Salem boy told authorities that the Rev. Angel Armando Perez gave him a beer and touched his genitals when he was sleeping over at Perez's house on an air mattress following a community church event Sunday night, according to court records released Tuesday.
A probable cause affidavit says the child, age 12, awakened to find Perez touching him. The document says the priest had a cell phone in one hand, and the boy was awakened by flashes that he believed were from the cell phone's camera.
Perez, the parish priest at Saint Luke Catholic Church in Woodburn, made his first appearance in Marion County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon on allegations of sexual abuse, abuse of a child in the display of sexually-explicit conduct, furnishing alcohol to a minor and driving under the influence of intoxicants.
The boy told investigators that he had gone to a community church event party with his family, and planned to spend Sunday night at Rev. Perez's house. Perez had asked the boy's parents a few days earlier if he could take the boy to the mountains for a trip, the affidavit said.
At Perez's home at 521 W. Lincoln St. in Woodburn, they watched a movie. The boy told investigators that an air mattress was set up on the living room floor for him to sleep on. He said he fell asleep on the air mattress and was "woken up by a couple of flashes,'' the affidavit said.
When he opened his eyes, the boy said he saw Rev. Perez next to the air mattress, with one hand on the boy's genitals and his other holding a cell phone. The boy told officers that he believed Perez was taking photos of him with his cell phone.
Perez was dressed in underwear and a T-shirt, the boy told police. He said he found his own underwear and shorts were down to his knees with his genitals exposed, the affidavit said.
The boy said he went to pack up his things when Perez went upstairs.
The victim told police that "Father Angel called to him saying , 'Come back to bed, ' " the affidavit says.
The boy said goodbye and ran out of the house, the affidavit said.
Perez, still in only his underwear, chased after the boy. The boy ran down Lincoln Street and turned on Settlemier Avenue, and yelled out to a couple of people standing in a residential driveway, "Help me, a guy is chasing me!''
One of the bystanders gave the boy a ride to his sister's house, where the boy reported what had occurred, the affidavit said.
The boy's sister and her husband were asleep when they heard the doorbell and knocking on their door about 1:30 a.m. Monday. The sister's husband answered and saw his nephew.
The boy ran to his sister's room and told her, "Father Angel touched me in my privates,'' the affidavit said.
He was shaking and appeared to be scared, the sister told authorities.
The boy's sister alerted her mother, and the father picked up the boy.
Meanwhile, according to the affidavit, Perez had driven to the boy's home in Salem to talk to the boy's mother and brother about 2 a.m..
Perez had a strong odor of alcohol and appeared intoxicated at the boy's home, the boy's brother told police.
The brother told police that Perez's first statement was, "I am very sorry; I made a mistake.''
Perez continued to ask forgiveness, and added, "I didn't mean to hurt'' the child, the affidavit said.
"I am just one who serves in the church, and I have sinned; don't stop believing in the church,'' Perez reportedly told the victim's brother, according to the affidavit.
Perez also offered the boy's mother and brother to check his phone, saying "you won't find anything,'' and the relatives asked Perez to leave the house.
"This is the last time you will see me,'' Perez reportedly told the relatives, the brother told police.
On Monday, Woodburn detectives interviewed Perez at the Woodburn Police Department. Perez told them he drank too much at the community event and became intoxicated. He said he and the boy were given a ride back to his Woodburn home. There, Perez said, he drank another beer, a Pacifico, and they watched a movie, the affidavit said.
"He told me at some point he blacked out and doesn't remember what happened,'' the detectives wrote in the affidavit. He told Detective Sgt. Nick Wilson that he remembered going upstairs and brushing his teeth, and when he came downstairs, he recalled a look of "disappointment and anger'' on the boy's face, the affidavit said.
Perez admitted he drove intoxicated to the boy's home to apologize and find out what happened. He said he got down on his knees and begged for forgiveness.
The boy told authorities in a later interview that Perez had given him a beer while they were watching a movie, and that he had drank about half of it.
Perez's black Iphone was not searched, as of the writing of the probable cause affidavit.