February 02, 2005

58 sexual-abuse counts filed against former Inland priest

The Press-Enterprise

11:18 PM PST on Tuesday, February 1, 2005

By MICHAEL FISHER / The Press-Enterprise

Prosecutors have filed 58 sexual-abuse charges against a defrocked Inland priest accused of molesting two teenage boys at churches in Perris and Coachella during the late 1980s.

Jesús Armando Dominguez, the onetime personal aide to Bishop Phillip F. Straling, the former head of the San Bernardino Diocese, faces more than 43 years in prison if convicted of the charges of unlawful oral copulation, sexual penetration and sodomy, Riverside County prosecutors said.

Dominguez, a 55-year-old registered sex offender, could not be located for comment Tuesday. Prosecutors, who say they are wrangling with diocesan lawyers to unseal Dominguez's personnel file, have secured a $500,000 arrest warrant for the former priest, but they suspect he has fled to Mexico.

Dominguez, known in his days of ministry in the Inland diocese as Father Jesse, is accused of abusing the boys in 1988 and 1989 at Our Lady of Soledad Church in Coachella and St. James Church in Perris.

Posted by kshaw at February 2, 2005 06:52 AM