Lausd Investigating Why Former Priest Was Hired after Admitting to Sexual Relations with Teen

CBS Los Angeles
February 4, 2013

[with video]

[Joseph Pina - Los Angeles archdiocese]

LOS ANGELES ( — The Los Angeles Unified School District was investigating Monday how a former priest, who admitted to a sexual relationship with an underage girl, was employed by the school system.

Joseph Piña, 66, worked for the LAUSD in school development from 2008 until he was laid off in 2012. According to LAUSD officials, Piña continued to work for the district occasionally up until last week.

Piña was defrocked in 2006 by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles after repeated confessions of a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl as well as a series of investigations into sexual misconduct.

The LAUSD was first notified Piña’s sexual abuse allegations last week when thousands of pages of sex abuse documents were released by the Archdiocese.

Included in the documents was a 127-page report detailing sexual abuse and a possible rape reportedly committed by the former priest.

Piña, who was in his 40s at the time of the allegations, confessed to a church-paid psychiatrist that he had an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl that involved sexual contact.

He said that during the relationship, he didn’t view himself as a priest.

“I would never think it was wrong. I saw her as a woman I was going to marry,” Piña said in a psychological evaluation.

“He remains a serious risk for acting out…. His behavior suggests that single Hispanic female mothers and possibly minors are at risk for becoming victimized,” a therapist said.

Piña was never convicted of a crime, so his name did not appear on any sex offender registries when he was hired by the LAUSD.

“I’ve already directed the review of trying to determine when he was hired, what background we used, what previous organizations he worked for like the Archdiocese, what we were told or not told,” LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said.

Piña’s work for the LAUSD did not involve direct contact with students


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