|4/2/2013 8:55:00 AM|
Priest pleads guilty, headed to jail
|Fr. Angel Perez|
Father Angel Perez, former pastor of St. Luke Parish in Woodburn, on Monday pled guilty to charges of child sexual abuse and other criminal misconduct. He was sentenced to more than six years in prison.
“We ask that everyone keep the victim and his family in their prayers,” said a statement from the Archdiocese of Portland. “We also pray for healing and peace for the parishioners of the St. Luke Parish family.”
For the past decade, the Archdiocese of Portland has been leading efforts to provide a safe environment for parishioners, including implementing the “Called to Protect” program and many other safety measures for clergy, teachers, adult volunteers and youth. Church workers and volunteers get background checks and are required to keep up annual training.
“The misconduct of even one person can teach that our vigilance must never be relaxed,” said the statement, which came out the day before Archbishop Alexander Sample’s installation.
“We also ask for prayers for the family and friends of Father Perez and prayers for forgiveness,” the statement concluded. “Yet, forgiveness does not exclude the consequences of justice under our nation’s laws. Father Perez is now facing those consequences.”
Father Perez pled guilty in Marion County Circuit Court to first degree sexual abuse against a 12-year-old boy he invited for a sleepover when he was pastor in Woodburn. He also pled guilty to DUI and furnishing liquor to a minor.
The priest, now 47, was arrested in August after the boy left his house and took shelter with neighbors.
Police said Father Perez, a native of Mexico who has permanent legal residency in the U.S., reported drinking too much at a gathering. The priest reported that does not remember what happened after he and the boy watched a movie.