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Templo de la Soledad in Irapuato. Templo de la Soledad in Irapuato.

Guanajuato priest arrested for sexually abusing child

He was preparing the young girl for her first communion at a church in Irapuato

Police arrested a priest in Irapuato, Guanajuato, on Monday for sexually abusing a young girl.

Luis Esteban, 32, was preparing the child for her first communion when her parents discovered that the priest regularly sent messages to her phone late at night. Later, they found out she had been abused.

Esteban was ordained as a priest in 2016 and presided over services at the Templo de La Soledad in Irapuato.

The diocese of Irapuato lamented the “unexpected situation” in a statement and said it had full confidence in authorities and the legal process.

“With great pain we accept the facts and ask forgiveness to all those who have been wronged in this case. We affirm our willingness to accept responsibility for all the corresponding offences.”

Yesterday, a criminal court judge ordered preventative prison for Esteban, ordering him to be held in the Irapuato penitentiary, the same institution where Jorge Raúl Villegas, the former spokesperson for the archdiocese of León, Guanajuato, is serving a 90-year sentence for abusing five minors at an all-girls’ private school.

Esteban will appear in court on Sunday. If found guilty, he could face up to 25 years in prison.

In February, the Catholic Church in Mexico revealed that 152 priests have been suspended over the past nine years for child sex abuse. However, the church did not disclose the number of victims.

Source: El Universal (sp), La Jornada (sp)

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