Fugitive Former Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing a Six-year-old Girl Is Extradited to the US to Face Charges

Daily Mail
April 25, 2017

A defrocked priest on the run for allegedly sexually abusing a young girl in 2014 was tracked down in Guatemala and extradited back to the US, where he will finally face abuse charges in Long Island, NY.

Interpol, working with US Marshals, found ex-priest Augusto Cortez, 53, in Guatamala and put him on a flight to New York over the weekend, according to authorities.

Upon landing at JFK Airport on Saturday, Cortez a former Catholic priest of the Vincentian Congregation was arrested and sent to jail without bail.

Fugitive ex-priest Augusto Cortez, 53, was found in Guatemala and extradited to the US, where he will face felony charges from a 2014 accusation that he sexually abused a six-year-old girl

Cortez pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child on Monday, according to WABC.

The charges all stemmed from a June 2014 incident in which he is accused of molesting a six-year-old girl at a family party in Southampton, Long Island.

Cortez had been on the run since June 2014, when he was questioned by police after the little girl's family long-time friends of Cortez called police to report that they suspected he had been sexually abusing their youngest daughter.

Although police questioned him at the time of the initial complaint, they had to release Cortez because they lacked enough hard evidence to charge him with any crimes. Days later, when cops had found the evidence they needed to charge him, they discovered that he had vanished.

Before he fled, police questioned Cortez about accusations he molested this six-year-old girl

Cortez was defrocked after pleading guilty to a charge of molesting a girl, 12, in 2008

Cortez was defrocked after pleading guilty to a charge of molesting a girl, 12, in 2008

Two months after he fled, the unnamed six-year-old told PIX11 news that Cortez abused her frequently, more times than she was able to count. Later the same year, she was diagnosed with genital herpes, according to 27.east.

Cortez fled to South America once he realized that he was under investigation, Southampton police said, adding that he had traveled to several countries on the continent before he was tracked down in Guatemala.

Cortez is a registered sex offender, who was defrocked by his order after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of forcibly touching a 12-year-old student's breasts at a Brooklyn, New York parish school in 2008. He was sentenced to probation in 2009.

He was categorized as a Level 1 or low risk of repeat offense sex offender by the state.

Cortez is due back in court on May 15.








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