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Priest sentenced for sexually abusing boy in Ontario

September 1, 2011 | 10:33 am

Photo: Jose Alejandro Castillo. Credit: Ontario Police Department / KTLA-TV A priest who served in four Inland Empire parishes has been sentenced to one year in prison for sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy in Ontario three years ago, according to news reports.

Jose Alejandro Castillo, 58, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and known as "Father Alex" to parishioners, must also register as a sex offender for life, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.

San Bernardino County Deputy Dist. Atty. Karen Schmauss, who prosecuted the case, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Last year, The Times reported that the Diocese of San Bernardino removed Castillo from active ministry in June 2010 after he was accused of molesting two adolescent brothers by relatives of the victims.

Police arrested the priest months later after authorities confirmed he committed eight separate acts of inappropriate sexual conduct against one of the boys over a three-month period in 2008, according to earlier Times reports.

Authorities told The Times that Castillo was initially charged with eight counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child.

Those charges could have led to 22 years in prison, but Castillo pleaded guilty in an agreement reached by the boy’s parents to spare their son from testifying at trial, the Press-Enterprise reported.

According to the newspaper, prosecutors could not bring charges in the alleged abuse involving the then-16-year-old brother because the one-year statute of limitations had expired.

The parents of the 12-year-old boy plan to file a civil suit against the diocese, alleging Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Ontario and Castillo are guilty of negligence and infliction of emotional distress, according to the Press-Enterprise, quoting the parents’ attorney.

At least three other men have accused Castillo of sexual abuse when they were young, the newspaper said.


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-- Ann M. Simmons

Photo: Jose Alejandro Castillo. Credit: Ontario Police Department / KTLA-TV Channel 5