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Friday, June 23, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

Pastor Facing Abuse Charges Flees to Mexico

Multiple felony and misdemeanor charges were filed Thursday, June 22nd against 67-year-old Rev. Xavier Ochoa-Perez, an assistant pastor at St. Francis Solano Catholic Church in Sonoma. Unfortunately, Ochoa may have fled the country.

The complaint filed by the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office alleges that Ochoa engaged in lewd conduct with three boys over a period from 1988 to the present. The boys ranged in age from 12 to 16 at the time the abuse occurred.

Ochoa admitted to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old altar boy to Bishop Daniel Walsh on Friday, April 28th. Bishop Walsh, of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, immediately suspended Ochoa and contacted the diocese’s lawyer, Mr. Dan Galvin.

Mr. Galvin claims he did not immediately notify authorities because he believed Child Protective Services to be closed on weekends, and waited until Monday, May 1st to fax a letter to their office. Officials believe Ochoa fled to Mexico over that weekend.