Mexico Catholic Priest Sentenced To 90 Years For Child Sex Abuse

The priest Jorge Raúl Villegas

Proceso – Mexico (En Español)

“The priest Jorge Raul Villegas, who served for years as spokesman for the current archbishop emeritus of León José Guadalupe Martín Rábago, was sentenced to 90 years in prison by a court of the accusatory criminal system of the state Judiciary, for several sexual crimes committed against of two minors.

Villegas Chávez will purge 60 years in prison, which is the highest corporal punishment provided by the Penal Code of Guanajuato, to be found guilty of qualified rape, sexual abuse, corruption of minors and sexual harassment.

Both victims were 14 years old when Father Villegas, being his confessor and also as a therapist at the Athens Catholic school in this city, committed the sexual abuses that were reported by the parents of the victims.

Jorge Raúl Villegas was hired in 2016 as an advisor and confessor in the Catholic school and also officiated in the San Cayetano temple, attached to the diocese of Irapuato, although he was allegedly suspended from the exercise of the priestly ministry by the diocese of Leon since 2014, after a paternity trial in which he was forced to recognize a daughter and give him support.

When the abuses became public, the then bishop of the diocese of Irapuato, José de Jesús Martínez Zepeda, said he was unaware that Jorge Raúl Villegas was officiating in the city and offered the collaboration of the diocese.

However, testimonies revealed that the bishop was not only aware of the incorporation of Jorge Raúl Villegas, but that he even officiated some mass next to the priest allegedly suspended.

Villegas Chavez was also part of the organizing committee of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to León.

For the complaints in the case of the two minors, the priest was arrested on February 14, 2017 and, in a process that lasted 14 months, he was linked to the process and subsequently several testimonies and evidence were released for this result, in the that the superior interest of the minors prevailed, said lawyer Dalia Ramírez, legal representative of the parents of the victims.

“We asked that they be 120 years with 9 months; the judge determined that it would be 90 years with 7 months. We know that the Penal Code marks in its article 31 A as a maximum penalty 60 years, and it will be 60 years what Jorge Raúl Villegas is detained, “he said.

The spokesman of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of León must also pay a fine to the Judicial Power and repair the damage to the victims.

Three other minors, who were 9, 12 and 13 years old, and still attended classes at the Athens school, also accused the priest. These complaints have been ongoing for months at the local Attorney’s office and have not been prosecuted.

“We are still with three more cases that are under investigation, we are in the preliminary stage, and we do take advantage of this means so that if there are more girls or children victims of this person, they denounce it, because it is being attended and justice is being administered. , and what better than the treatment for these minors to see that they raise their voice has a result, “said lawyer Dalia Ramírez.

Once the irregular hiring of priest Villegas as “therapist and counselor” was known, the Atenas School was sanctioned by the Guanajuato Ministry of Education, although only economically, with a fine of 96 thousand 861 pesos, “for allowing people outside the institution interfere in economic activities. ”

One of the last people to appear to testify was the school director, since she left Irapuato and was in different cities, until she was located in Mexico City.”

[Translated By Google Translate]

 

 

 

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