Ontario priest named in new sex abuse suit
Convicted cleric faces at least 5 victims
He was even sent sent back to jail for violating parole
Church officials knew he gave kids full-body massages, but
Crimes were not reported to law enforcement
For 20 years, priest molested kids in Latino communities
Come forward and report abuse, victims ask
Priest must be defrocked, they say
Jose Alejandro “Alex” Castillo
What: Holding signs and photos of themselves when they were abused, abuse victims and their supporters will disclose a new child sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit against the San Bernardo Catholic Diocese and a convicted predator priest. The suit charges that now-convicted priest Jose Alejandro “Alex” Castillo:
- sexually abused an Ontario teen in 2003,
- had a 20-year history of known and unreported predatory behavior, and
- was intentionally put in poor, Spanish speaking communities where children are less likely to report
Victims will also urge San Bernardino’s Bishop Gerald Barnes to:
- reach out to every person who encountered the child-molesting priest,
- turn over all evidence of abuse to law enforcement,
- beg the priest’s supporters to keep their kids away from him, and
- ask anyone who saw, suspected or suffered abuse to call police, not church officials.
Where: Outside of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 710 S Sultana St. (corner of Mission), Ontario
When: Tuesday, September 18 at 11:45 am
Who: Two – three victims of sexual abuse and their supporters who are members of a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
Why: This week, an attorney for a former young catechism student filed a sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit against the Diocese of San Bernardino and a convicted predator priest/parole offender, Fr. Jose Alejandro “Alex” Castillo.
The lawsuit charges that in 2003 when the boy was a 15- and 16-year-old student in the parish, Castillo would isolate the boy from other adults and children and sexually abuse him. The victim currently lives in Mexico and is under the age of 26.
The suit also says that church officials had reports that Castillo was molesting kids all the way back in the 1970s, when Castillo was a seminarian in Mexico and the 1980s and ’90s, when he was a priest of the Order of the Divine Word. Castillo left the order and joined the San Bernardino Diocese in approximately 1996. Before the victim in this case was abused, San Bernardino church officials knew that Castillo was taking kids into his room and giving them full-body massages.
In April 2011, Castillo pleaded guilty to lewd acts with a child under the age of 14. After his release in 2012, Castillo was sent back to jail for violating the conditions of his parole when he attended a party where children were present. The party was thrown by his supporters and former parishioners. Church officials, who knew of Castillo’s predatory behavior, did nothing to reach out to the group and explain the insensitivity of their actions.
This is the third sex abuse lawsuit filed against Castillo. In September 2011, two victims, one of whom was the victim in Castillo’s criminal conviction, filed lawsuits against the priest and diocese. According to court documents, there are at least five victims who have come forward to say that Castillo molested them.
According to the sentencing report, Castillo has little to no understanding of the severity of his crimes.
The lawsuit also says that Castillo used his position as a priest to have unlimited access to the children. San Bernardino church officials have known for years about Castillo’s predatory behavior, yet let him work in a parish with a school and spend long amounts of time with families with young children, the suit maintains.
To date, there has been no announcement that San Bernardino Bishop Gerald Barnes has moved to defrock Castillo. The cleric’s last known address was in Ontario.
Castillo’s victims are represented by Pasadena attorney Anthony DeMarco.