Former El Paso Catholic priest's sexual assault trial begins

By Justin Kree
CBS 4 News
July 9, 2019

[with video]

Former El Paso priest Miguel Luna, who is accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl decades ago, was in court Tuesday morning for the start of his trial.

“A wolf in sheep clothing” is how prosecutors described the former El Paso priest Miguel Luna.

The state went on to say that he used his position of trust to sexually assault the victim back in the 1990s.

The state said the victim was a little girl who was an alter server at Corpus Cristi Catholic Church in El Paso.

Then the defense spoke during their opening statement -- using the same analogy agreeing that Luna is a wolf, stating that a wolf in nature stays faithful and only has one mate.

Luna’s attorneys describing that mate as the Catholic Church to Luna and he remained faithful during his years as a priest.

The victim took the stand after the statements, explaining that she was 8 years old when she was first an alter server helping then-Rev. Luna during Mass.

The victim testified that she was in a private confessional with Luna about two years later when the first abuse started.

The victim said that during the confession is when he first pulled the victims chair closer to him to where their legs were touching and asked her everything from if she has a boyfriend, to if she watches pornographic material, then asking if she masturbates.

The victim said that her biological mother and Luna would call each other often and they had a good relationship.

The victim said she saw Luna as a good person and a “spitting image of Jesus Christ.”

Luna has pleaded not guilty to all 12 counts of sexually abusing a child, including some counts when the victim was under 14 years old.

The victim is expected to stay on the stand Tuesday afternoon.


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