A Catholic priest was found guilty guilty by a court in Chihuahua this week of the violation and sexual abuse of a minor.
Evidence from more than 20 witnesses, official experts’ reports and documentary evidence showed that the victim was sexually abused by Aristeo Baca, now 78, at least three times between 2015 and 2018.
Prosecutors said “the accused broke the relationship of trust and took advantage of the access he had to the victim, who served as an altar girl in the church where he celebrated Mass.”
Baca was arrested in Ciudad Juárez and subsequently suspended in 2019 when the family of the victim noticed her aversion to Baca and she finally spoke out about the abuse.
Initially many parishioners came out in support of Baca, and the family of another victim received threats from his supporters and were forced to leave their home after the accusations were made public.
Elia Orrantia, director of an organization that supports victims of sexual abuse, said Baca’s conviction was significant as it was the first in which a priest had been brought to trial on sexual abuse charges in Ciudad Juárez. She acknowledged the bravery of the victim and her family for speaking out against the priest.
Baca will be sentenced on March 1.