An Oregon priest faces first degree sexual abuse charges after being accused of fondling a 12-year-old boy Sunday night.
Investigators said that Father Angel Armando Perez, 46, invited the victim over to his house for a sleepover. Around midnight, the boy was awakened by flashes. When he opened his eyes, he claimed his underwear was pulled down to his knees and that Perez was fondling him with one hand and holding a cellphone in the other, Northwest Cable News reported.
Perez, pastor of St. Luke Catholic Church in Woodburn, was charged with sexual abuse, abuse of a child in the display of sexually explicit conduct, furnishing alcohol to a minor and DUI.
Police say the victim ran out of the house and down the street looking for help from James Curths and his sister-in-law, Heather Rodriguez.
Curths told the Oregonion that the child was out of breath, but begged for help because a man was chasing him. He and Rodriguez got ready to drive the boy to relatives when a man later identified as Perez ran over, wearing only his underwear.
“He was staring at us,” Rodriguez told the paper. “Then he stood there with his hands on his hips like, ‘You’re really not going to give him to me?'”
After Rodriguez and Curths told the man they were calling the police, he jogged away.
When the victim got home, he told his family, “Father Perez touched me in the privates.” They reported the incident to the police, according to the Statesman-Journal.
Around 2 a.m., Monday, Perez came to the boy’s house to talk to the boy’s mother and brother, according to a probable cause report.
The victim’s brother told police that Perez smelled of booze and appeared intoxicated and that his first statement was, “I am very sorry. I made a mistake,” and later added, “I didn’t mean to hurt” the child.
The affidavit also claimed that Perez told the boy: “I am just one who serves in the church, and I have sinned; don’t stop believing in the church.”