“For the first time in the history of the Mexican justice system a pedophile Catholic priest has been sentenced to jail, a decision deemed a “milestone” by the victim’s lawyer.
Carlos López Valdez will serve 63 years for the sexual abuse of Jesús Romero Colín over a four-year period after Romero, then a minor, agreed to live with López in the hope of one day becoming a priest himself.
López, now 72, was sentenced yesterday in Mexico City. He was also ordered to pay 75,000 pesos (US $4,000) in reparation.
The victim’s lawyer told the newspaper El Universal that the sentence was “a milestone with regard to clerical pedophile cases.”
At least two high-ranking members of the Catholic church, Jonás Guerrero Corona and Marcelino Hernández Rodríguez, the bishops of Culiacán and Colima, respectively, were aware of the abuse “but they did nothing,” said the lawyer for an advocacy group.
Luis Ángel Salas of the Action Group for Human Rights and Social Justice, said his organization and Peña are considering filing lawsuits against both bishops.
Romero asserted that instead of cooperating on the case, the Catholic church tried to dismiss the accusations against López.
The Archdiocese of Mexico issued a statement expressing its solidarity with Romero, and its willingness to collaborate with authorities.
The archdiocese said it will not rest until acts of abuse are eradicated from the church.”