January 12, 2005

Accused priest has moral support

Detroit Free Press

January 12, 2005


Supporters flew in from Mexico to testify Tuesday that the Rev. Luis Javier de Alba Campos was a selfless priest, an outstanding teacher and a moral man.

Employees and parishioners from St. Gabriel Catholic Church said he revitalized the southwest Detroit parish in just a few months, drawing standing-room crowds for Spanish masses and working even on his days off.

But an 8-year-old boy -- who wasn't quite sure when his birthday is and thinks he'd like to learn ice skating -- testified in Wayne County Circuit Court that the priest fondled him in bed and asked the youngster, "Did it feel good?"

The boy was the last person in his six-member family to testify about an evening last spring when de Alba Campos, recruited from Mexico early in 2004 to lead St. Gabriel, was invited over to bless the family's home. The boy's father and the priest acknowledged splitting a bottle of tequila that night, and the drunken priest slept an upstairs bedroom with the boy, who was then 7.

Once in bed, the boy said the priest pulled down his underwear and touched his penis.

Posted by kshaw at January 12, 2005 05:59 AM