Another Corpus Christi Priest Faces Accusation of Sexual Abuse

By Evan Moore
Houston Chronicle
August 31, 1995

A second priest from the Corpus Christi Diocese was accused

Wednesday of sexually molesting a minor.

The Rev. Robert Trevino is accused in a civil suit of

molesting a boy in Alice in 1993.

The lawsuit follows an indictment in June against another

priest, the Rev. Jesus Garcia of Mathis, who is accused of

drugging and molesting four youths and a man. Garcia fled the

country after complaints were made against him in September

1994, and is thought to be in Spain.

In the most recent suit, filed in 148th District Court in

Corpus Christi, Roberto and Antonia Arredondo and their son,

Roberto Arredondo Jr., 16, complained that Trevino molested

the younger Arredondo during an overnight stay at a church

rectory in Alice in September 1993.

The Arredondo family spoke with the knowledge that their names

would be published.

Trevino, who left the Alice Parish after the Arredondos

complained to police in March 1994, is currently a chaplain

with the Air Force at Holloman AFB near Alamogordo, N.M

The younger Arredondo said he was being counseled by Trevino

because of poor performance in school when the priest asked

him to spend the night at the rectory after a high school

football game. The boy's parents said they agreed when Trevino

told them another priest would also be staying at the


Roberto Arredondo Jr., however, said the other priest was not

at the rectory. He said that during dinner Trevino questioned

him about sex, then attempted to enter the shower with him


The youth said he became frightened and asked the priest to

allow him to bathe alone and Trevino agreed. He then fell

asleep on the couch, he said, and awoke in the early morning

hours with Trevino performing a sex act on him.

""The next morning Father Trevino acted like nothing had

happened," said the youth. ""I went home later that day, but I

couldn't talk about it. "

But the youth told his father in March 1994, and the father

called police.

Alice Police Chief Jack Compton said his department

investigated the complaint, questioned the priest and offered

to arrange a polygraph examination for him, but Trevino

declined the test, saying diocesan officials would not allow

him to take a polygraph.

Compton said he then called Monsignor Thomas McGettrick, who

denied Trevino's claim and said that the diocese had

instructed the priest to cooperate with investigators.

The teen-ager has volunteered to take a polygraph examination

and his parents have agreed, though the test has not been


Throughout the investigation, the elder Arredondo said he

attempted to speak with Bishop Rene Gracida, but Gracida

refused to see him or speak to him.

The case then languished in the office of Jim Wells District

Attorney Frank Garza.

Garza, in a telephone conversation with Arredondo in late May,

reportedly told Arredondo that the case remained active and

open and that he planned to pursue it.

When asked about it by a Chronicle reporter the next day,

however, Garza's response was ""Who's Robert Trevino? "

But Garza told the Chronicle that he intended to bring the

case before a grand jury in June. That action was not taken,


Trevino refused comment except to say that he had joined the

Air Force of his own volition. Gracida reportedly was away

from the diocese. McGettrick, however, said he believes there

are no grounds for a suit.

""As I remember it, the (Arredondo) family couldn't find a

lawyer who would take it because it was groundless," he said.

""I'd certainly be surprised to see it filed now. "


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